Peddling for a pretty penny
Every day last winter, Thomas Sexton left his high school guidance counselor's office at 1 p.m. and went to the nearby Albertsons in South Eugene. He stood outside and asked anyone coming in or out, "Excuse me, do you have any spare change?"
Panhandling is a last resort for most, but a study by the Public Broadcasting Service and published online found the practice can be a lucrative activity that often earns thousands of dollars per year in large cities.
Begging may not be a career, but the homeless said it should be treated like a job.
"Back then," he said, "it was all for drugs."
Besides paying for food and cigarettes, his panhandling money is currently going toward a big splurge - a night in a hotel.
The death of shame in this country is amazing. Imagine waking up and saying to yourself: "I'm on welfare and I beg for money... I should do an interview with the local college newspaper!"
That the Daily Emerald has a sidebar for "What makes a panhandle successful" makes me wonder if they are trying to tell their students something. They actually have this as a tip:
Be professional: Treat panhandling as a job. For most people who are begging, it's the only option they have. If you are in this situation, be professional and work hard because it's likely the only job you have and it's probably your only income.