Begging for help

While the chilly air will soon turn warmer, those in need will still struggle to make ends meet.
Alex Doty
Mar 23, 2013


Some who struggle will stand on a street corner with sign in hand, asking for donations.

But that isn't necessary in the Tri-Cities.

“We would always encourage people to come to our main office on Fulton Avenue,” Love INC Tri-Cities Executive Director Mark Green said. “We have ways of distributing food to them.”

It also isn't allowed, at least not in the City of Grand Haven.

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said a city ordinance states that it is "unlawful for any person to accost, molest, beg, panhandle or willfully annoy another person.”

Hawke said they occasionally have reports of panhandlers. Officers that respond to the call will determine what type of assistance the person may need — shelter, food, transportation or perhaps something else.

“Once the need is determined, officers make contact on behalf of the person in need with community agencies and organizations that provide assistance,” Hawke said. “Officers may also provide direct assistance, such as transportation to a shelter.”

If the officer determines that the person is not truly in need, they are asked to discontinue the activity and a warning is issued for violating the city ordinance.

“If the activity continues, the person could be cited for the ordinance violation,” Hawke said.

Green said Love INC volunteers in the past have seen people in need along the road and reached out to help.

“We have over 36 ministries that will help meet their needs,” he said. “I want those people to come in and see that we have an incredibly awesome community.”

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



It isn't allowed in Grand Haven so that is why this was it Spring Lake. Love in the Name of Christ not withstanding we need to remember, those of us who follow Jesus have all been empowered and called as they are to care for the poor. It is one of the ways we are to be known. So next time see if you can do it. God put this person in your path don't just send him/her over to Linc. We will answer for what we do with the poor.


might be against city ordinance, but the state law they just passed supersedes that, are going to place a further burden on the family by arresting him and put a person in jail, not in this city we dont allow that ?


Sorry to see it come to this. Of course we can't have panhandling here, it would tarnish the area's image (more). But, this guy playing on people's religion, good one. That's the ticket around here for sure. Look, Go to LOVE, INC on Fulton and ask for help, it beats going public on a corner. They have Gleaners trucks (semis) every two weeks with free food giveaway. Good luck to you sir!

According to some haters, the sign should probably read 'Need money for a winning lotto ticket.'


What this gentlemen is doing maybe illegal, but we have a police force that does care about its residents and would rather help than write this guy a ticket. This person is obviously desperate and cares about his family or he wouldn’t be standing there asking for help. There are more needy family’s in this area than most people know about. My only hope is him and his family got the help they needed.


That's the problem with the schewed utopia of the left, hand outs take away a persons dignity. There are jobs, they maybe low paying, but start a person back on track to self sufficient life. If he has hit hard times, why? Did his behavior put him there? If not, a low paying job is still a better way to sustain yourself long term verses panhandling. Perform in a job and it leads to better pay and opportunity. Perform well as a panhandler, leads to more panhandling and dependancy. I'm not uncaring about a person in this situation but my hand ups are not in the form of cash to a complete stranger. A job lead, a job, food or clothes or something, anything of that nature is far better lift for a person then cash. Many times in these situations you are feeding a habit that keeps them dependent.

Truly caring is to help this person back to self sufficient life, not by tossing him a couple of bucks to make you the giver feel good about yourself. That's just a short sighted solution.

Walking Alive

"screwed up utopia of the left". wow! And the utopia of the right is what, trickle down? We all know that doesn't work unless you are the one on top not getting wet.
All unnecessary (older, no degree, whistle blowers, etc) workers have been removed (even after 20 years, MI is an 'at will' employee state), and their jobs have been given to a co-worker (to do both jobs) for the exact same wages they were doing their former (one) job for 5 years ago. There literally ARE NO JOBS here.

Glad to hear you have/advocate a job or a job lead or clothes for this unfortunate man from the sound of it you are a good Samaritan who is ready to help out his fellow man.


...and your solution is? Your part of the problem! P and moan. List off cities and states led by the left that are shining examples of flourishing economies? While your at it remove the government nipple from their mouth. There are jobs, you have to take what this screwed up economy is giving you unless you want to become a ward of the democrat voting block! Just wait until next years little health care bomb goes off and employers pass on those effects! More utopia on its way!

Walking Alive

What a oxy-moron you are, so there are no working Democrats? I work at a 45 hr/wk job doing almost 3 peoples work and make under $9/hr. I take how you and your generation have screwed up the economy, and what gives us all right, right up the butt.


Start really "walking alive" and take charge of your situation and do something about it, don't make believe its someone elses responsibility to make you happy! If your good at what you do go find someone to pay you for it and/or better perks. This crap that everybody is equal and no one loses is what your being fed and believing! THAT'S WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK. The faster you grasp that the happier your going to be. If your employer sees the value in what you do they will damn sure do something to keep you. Put on your big people pants. Tearing apart what made this country great is what the problem is. In case you weren't taught what made us great nation: Hard work, freedom and opportunity, and an amazing docuement called the constitution and bill of rights that gaurantees you can pursue life , liberty, and happiness! It does not guarantee you are sucessful!!! Yea I know sometimes it sucks and you lose, but it sucks a lot less then anywhere else in the world.

Walking Alive

I have degrees, 2 in fact, and am working on my Masters (with a hubby & two kids). I am overqualified, they want lackeys for workers. I know of a business in town that won't hire anyone without a degree from Hope. I have friends in the same position as myself. I have looked for and applied for better positions for over two years. Don't freaking preach to me about bettering myself. You obviously have not had to look for a job in this area or you would know better than to spew the venom you do.


OK GIRLS! No hair pulling on the playground!


You call it venom, I call it uncomfortable truth. Good luck, you carry the venom that's poisoning your success. Find another scapegoat to dump your problems on cause I'm not your problem.


Unless you know this person, what you state are assumptions about them and their situation, not truth at all. In fact what you assumed about them actually seems false, but you don't have the nards to own it.


You should read your own words as you are making some assumptions yourself don't ya think. She wading in and started huffing and puffing, I took on the huff and puff and threw it back. In my sharp replies are some possible answers to the things complained about in her life and career. You wade in to stir the pot! What's your bigdeal?


"This crap that everybody is equal and no one loses is what your being fed and believing! THAT'S WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK. The faster you grasp that the happier your going to be. If your employer sees the value in what you do they will damn sure do something to keep you. Put on your big people pants."

If that comment is not an assumption, Dick Cheney is not Republican. I know you like to attack one person at a time, and dislike it when more than one person disagrees with you, but own up to the crap you print here like a big boy.


" I work at a 45 hr/wk job doing almost 3 peoples work and make under $9/hr. I take how you and your generation have screwed up the economy, and what gives us all right, right up the butt".

Hello, My names Dick Cheney! I am the real bigdeal not acting like one! You want to kick sand, better realize you'll get sand in your face and won't be able to see when your pulling pigtails!

Walking Alive

So true bigdeal, but I actually pity this poor joker.
My profile, not an assumption here...He lives in a world separate from reality, a world were there is a job for all, and everything is red & blue. He can't make a statement without using his favorite swear words 'liberal' or 'left', and can't complete an original thought from all the Faux News crap repeating over and over in his head. He is a bitter, lonely old man who has no family nor friends because he has chased them away with his rantings. He is a hater. He wants to give clothes and a job to a man who might already have both of those things, not what the guy is asking for (cash, prayers, diapers). Our beggar probably already works, but gets paid so little, he has to choose between paying rent, paying utilities, or eating. Many people do right now. But Dick here figures this guy is in this position because of his 'behavior', and degrades the guy by giving sage advice to get a job so you don't get real good at panhandling. You know, he's sucking on Wings proverbial teet here. Don't give the guy cash, you'll feed his habit? Nice.


Wow, spot on. Thank god you Libs have the uncanny ability to never miss on your assumption like us conservatives. Carry on, we learn so much from you.


You should read your own words as you are making some assumptions yourself don't ya think. She wading in and started huffing and puffing, I took on the huff and puff and threw it back. In my sharp replies are some possible answers to the things complained about in her life and career. You wade in to stir the pot! What's your bigdeal?


Amen! I would like to know where all these job opening are that people think are out there. I have been looking for 2 years and am told I am over-qualified or they found someone that had better qualifications for the job or that I am too old. No, no one would dare say that, but, I know a lot more people in their fifties who are looking for work than young people. It is all about who you know and not your years of experience.

Former Grandhavenite

I just had to respond to, "List off cities and states led by the left that are shining examples of flourishing economies?"

Let's see- there's California, which would have the eighth largest economy in the WORLD if it was a country. Not exactly a conservative stronghold. But hey, what have Hollywood, the IT industry, the largest agricultural sector in the US, and 50+ fortune 500 companies located there ever done for the economy? They're all a bunch of liberals, freaks, and longhairs anyway.

Then there's another state and city run by a bunch of east coast intellectual Bolsheviks that just so happens to be the financial capitol of the WORLD, not just the US. It's also home to another 50+ fortune 500 and major branches of essentially every large corporation in the world.

In reality, it's the liberal states like CA, NY, and Maryland (wealthiest state in the US), that are providing the "government nipple" for conservative states like Mississippi and Oklahoma to suck from. It's only because of that left-pointing government nipple that heavily subsidized conservative welfare states can stay afloat fiscally while refusing to fund health care, education, etc for their own citizens. This is why I always laugh when conservatives get all upset about welfare and 'redistribution'.


Well said Wing!

annoyed person here

what about them people that are very annoying begging for money over on 168th and robbins rd all summer long. you have to stop at the light and they come up to ur car asking for money/donations. and then stare at you the whole time. If I wanted to donate I would come to them. I do donate money often but I'm only pushed into this annoyance with them. why is this aloud when people asking for help is not, they are both doing the same thing!

Former Grandhavenite

According to Google Maps, that intersection is on the border between Grand Haven and Grand Haven Twp. I would guess the panhandlers are ok as long as they stay on the proper corner (or quickly migrate there when need be).

If I was panhandling around there I know I'd definitely be blowing half the 'profits' at Skoops, being so conveniently located! Nothing like a hot fudge sundae to help forget the cheap bastards who held out on me. You see- I am a pastor from Holland and I just need a few dollars for a bus ticket back home.


That's the Lions organization asking for donations on that corner. Only two weekends a year I think, not all summer long. Do the Salvation Army kettles annoy you too at Xmas?


and it is 172nd & Robbins Rd.

Former Grandhavenite

Well, maybe if the Lions organization could produce a better product on the field for MORE than two weekends a year they wouldn't need to ask for donations!


Now ya gotta admit, that's funny right there! lol

Say no to new taxes

I guess standing on a street corner holding a sign and asking for tax free money beats getting up in the dark and working a ten hour day for a wage where taxes are deducted from your check? The signs use to ask for a job, now they just want your cash. Forget it, I'd rather give my money to someone working a low paying job as a generous tip, not someone healthy enough to grab a rake and a shovel and begin a yard cleaning business but is to lazy to do so.


Did anyone ask HOW many of these people went to Love Inc? I think you would be shocked at the response! The homeless & unemployment rates continue to increase and Love Inc can't possibly accommodate this vast number of people (God bless them for their unending devotion to the community!). This holds true for many other organizations and government subsidized programs.

When I read the comments above, I was more disturbed at the complete lack of sensitivity,empathy and problem solving tactics. Do you HONESTLY think that people don't want to pay their rent, buy their own food, support their children or work for a living???? There is a direct connection between SELF CONFIDENCE and GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT (google it, research data can be found everywhere). Think about WHAT it takes for that person to become so desperate that they find themselves on the corner with a sign begging for food and diapers? I'm sure this wasn't the life they envisioned for themselves or their family. I know it wasn't for me and this is a very depressing fact that I struggle with everyday. Continually trying to find some light, some hope...anywhere.

It always makes me "pause" when I hear people critique the poverty stricken about how they "should and should not" spend their money. "FOLKS! Listen UP! Nothing from nothing is NOTHING!" Robbing Peter to pay Paul is what it's all about when you are in this income bracket. I've been in both worlds and managing finances when you have nothing is far more complicated than when you do have money coming in (I assure you!). I used be a big believer that your financial situation was "all relative" and that you would be in the same place regardless of your income. WELL, now I can say, I definitely don't believe that anymore. My hypothesis was very, very wrong. In fact, take a look at Jeffrey Sachs Gansu and Hunan Study (MIT/Global Poverty). The overall effect and how people distribute what income they do have, is very interesting (to say the least). Their is a "psychological process" that occurs when people are desperate. Perspectives, thought processes change and the need to preserve "quality of life" becomes even more important (even if it is microscopic). Sometimes, those little things, like getting a $5 Starbucks coffee or the $2 lotto ticket are what keep them alive, mentally & physically! When day to day life is nothing but continual struggles, finding joy anywhere is imperative to survive in today's world. So, instead of judging, try supporting people...take time to understand and show a little love. It goes a LONG way. (Even a random statement, like, "YOU CAN DO IT!" can have a powerful effect!)

You might ask yourself, "HUH? Why should I care?" Let me tell you WHY. These people are your brothers and sisters. I am your sister. We are here on earth TOGETHER. AND someday, you could be in the same situation. It is our duty and obligation to humanity to contribute to mankind even if it is only with small acts of kindness. Those small acts (like maybe saying to someone, "HANG IN THERE! YOU CAN DO IT!")can have a profound ripple effect. EVEN with my financial predicament, I still do whatever I can to help ease the burden for someone else (babysitting, tutoring, volunteering at school, etc.). Plus, it's so much more fun than cleaning house! ;op

The worst part of all is that this is going to continue to get worse. There aren't any jobs coming town to stimulate our, where and how will you support yourself/your family? Do what you can NOW to prepare for hard times and start lobbying local and state officials about bringing business to our community. Your voice DOES make a difference!



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