Social Question

wildpotato's avatar

Do you have a favorite homeless person?

Asked by wildpotato (13640 points ) November 20th, 2009

Do you find yourself harboring a slight fondness for someone who’s always at a certain spot at a certain time of day? A guy you might save a quarter for, instead of giving it to some random busker?

My guy stays at one of the PATH stations at night. He’s an elderly African-American man with this great poof of white hair. We usually exchange a nod or a smile. It’s nice that he always recognizes me, and that he’s always there to let me know that my train’s pulling into the station and I’d better run for it. I find him a bit interesting because out of all the homeless folks I see around every day, he’s the only one who has found a way to make himself helpful to people, in telling them the train schedule. The funny thing is that he sits around a corner where he can’t see the trains himself, and yet he’s always dead-on about which one is coming and when.

I’m asking because I mentioned I was giving leftovers from a drug rep lunch to my guy, and some other people in my office said they also had favorite homeless people. It made me curious about Fluther experiences.

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40 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Osama bin Laden.

Judi's avatar

There was a lady named Sally with rosy cheeks and a sparkly smile, like a cherub that used to hang around my office. One particularly cold winter day I went shopping for some gloves for her. She always glowed.
I hear that she died a few years ago. I was so sad. I wish I would have brought her home for Thanksgiving.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have many – one of my patients is a homeless man living out of his car with 2 parakeets – he’s really something else…and in the city, by Union Square, there are 3 homeless young people…I see them all the time…the first time we met and I was putting money in their hat, one of the girls looked at me and said “want to touch my pussy” and I was like “well…” and the she flipped open the flap of her overalls and there was a cat sleeping on her tummy..so my partner and I gave the kitty pats…and I said ‘oh my, either way it’s a good day’ then I said ‘I wish I can give you more than a dollar” and she said ‘at least you have a sense of humor’ and I said ‘well that’s what you have when you don’t have money’ and after that we shared many laughs afterwards

laureth's avatar

Well, there’s the one I used to date, but I haven’t seen him in years.

majorrich's avatar

In Lexington, Kentucky there is a homeless man named Henry Earl. He has been arrested for public intoxication over a thousand times. He likes to be called James Brown and will dance for beers.

avvooooooo's avatar

I have many. I worked at a homeless shelter for a year. You can lean more from homeless people than any other group, even when helping them. The sum total of their life experiences tend to completely belie their years.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Yes. He’s a member of a friend’s band and they usually go to a particular part of town to round him up for practices and shows. He’s homeless out of choice, used to model but is just a bit on the quirky side. He does carry a celly, is always a gentleman to the ladies and will refuse money or food several times before finally accepting. Gosh darn that man :)

filmfann's avatar

My grandfather. He passes away 10 years ago, but he lived about 50 years homeless, just a railroad tramp. Made my mom heartsick.

Fred931's avatar

My little sister is “A friend to all hobos and the homeless.” :?

ratboy's avatar

Yes—my mom. I try to remember to carry extra change whenever I expect to pass her corner.

wilma's avatar

I don’t think that there are any homeless people near where I live.
There was a young couple, temporarily last summer, but our villagers got them a tent and other camping gear, and some food and took care of them until one of their parents came from down south to get them.
If a homeless person hung out very long around my small town, someone would be finding them a home or a shelter of some kind.

chyna's avatar

We had a homeless guy here that everyone called Aqua Lung because he looked like the album cover of the Jethro Tull album “Aqua Lung”. Nick Nolte studied him as his role model in the movie “Down and Out in Beverly Hills.” No one has seen him for about 3 years now and he had been here for at least 30 years. I hope he is well.

laureth's avatar

Would that all towns and cities were as considerate as yours, @wilma.

Courtybean's avatar

Two actually- one who walks the same route from his home to the city (approx a 7hr walk) in exactly the same outfit (blue overalls, aviator sunglasses and sandles) 6 days a week along the side of the road. The other you see every now and again pushing a trolley full of massive pumpkins up a hill in the local area. I have no idea where he goes with pumpkins, no where he gets them from but I always see him hot and dripping in sweat just pushing those pumpkins!

SeventhSense's avatar

Oh there was old Toothless Harry and smelly Sally but Tiny Tim always tugged at my heartstrings and compelled me to toss a farthing into his tam. On the occasion when the sailors were back from sea. I’d flip some salted cod his way. His ruddy complexion sure did glow as he tipped his hat in graciousness. He died of the grippe after the Great War.

XOIIO's avatar

We have an old guy called sailor Dan. He draws amazing ships and sells them for 25 bucks each. Once I gave him 50$ and he got some new clothes and got cleaned up, for Christmas I’m going to give him 100$

SeventhSense's avatar

@XOIIO
He’s not homeless. He’s a starving artist. :)

emma193's avatar

The “wild bushman” makes the top of my list. He sits on an overturned milk crate at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, hiding behind a few scraggly tree branches. As unsuspecting people stroll by, he sometimes jumps up from behind the foliage or simply shakes the leaves and let’s out a shout. People shriek, drop their ice cream, and gasp from surprise – rather amusing as crowds often gather to watch and he’s not very well hidden but people are shocked nonetheless. He brings in so much money each day, I hope he’s no longer homeless!

SeventhSense's avatar

@emma193
This is why I can’t move to San Francisco. I’d probably kick him in the balls.

fundevogel's avatar

Rickey the Pirate is a favorite in LA, though apparently he’s got a home now. He was snoozing at the tattoo parlor when my friend went under the needle. He brings a lot of ambiance.

holden's avatar

@emma193 that guy got me once. It was hilarious!

dalepetrie's avatar

@emma193 – I saw that guy when I was there.

But I saw another one when I was in SanFran last time (Feb 2008) who makes my favorite list (I don’t generally go through any areas where the homeless hang out in my city so I’ve never gotten to know a homeless person). This guy was in a wheelchair and he was holding a sign that said, “Ninjas kidnapped my family…need money for kung fu lessons.”

My least favorite however was also in SF, however this was in August of ‘88. I was 17, and not into Chinese food, but my parents wanted to get some Chinese food in Chinatown, so I went to a McDonald’s close by. As I’m sitting there, this dirty, smelly guy comes in, he’s dragging a gunny sack which looks like it might have a human body inside, and he’s mumbling incoherent, violent threats about not fucking with him or he’ll shove something so far up someone’s ass that their mother will eat shit. I think he meant it.

filmfann's avatar

@emma193 I have seen the guy you are talking about. I nearly kicked his ass a few years ago when he scared me and my wife. I am surprised he doesn’t get assaulted more often.

MissAusten's avatar

I’ve never lived in an area where there are evident homeless people, but my husband has. When he was working in Brooklyn recently, he got to know two or three homeless people near where he was staying. There was a lady who made cards and sold them, and he bought some from her even though they didn’t really look like cards. There was another lady who they sometimes gave food or money to because she was always so happy and friendly, and a guy that they gave some money to because he was very big, very scary, and implied that not giving him a few bucks would be bad for their health. My husband had another kid helping him out on this job.

Their favorite homeless guy was Dennis. He said he was schizophrenic, got enough money from the state to support his smoking habit and keep a cell phone, but not enough to have a place to live. Over the two months he was in Brooklyn, my husband and his friend gave Dennis socks, a belt, a couple of shirts, some cologne (which he sprayed down his pants), several meals, the latest X-Men movie on DVD (Dennis apparently has a portable DVD player), and on their last night in town they invited him up to their place for dinner. My husband showed me a picture of Dennis before telling me he’d given him his shirts. I was like, “Isn’t that your shirt? Isn’t that your belt?”

The funniest thing that happened with Dennis was the day he met Al Pacino. My husband is a big Pacino fan, and one day Dennis came up to show him a photo of himself with Al Pacino. My husband said, “Wow, when did you meet him?” Dennis said, “About an hour ago.” He was filming a movie in the area, had his picture taken with Dennis, and someone on the crew printed the photo and gave it to the homeless guy. My husband and his friend took a walk to see if they could spot Pacino themselves, but he was gone. They were pretty jealous.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I always thought that Clint Eastwood looked like a homeless guy.

SeventhSense's avatar

@filmfann
Right? That’s BS.

The only thing worse is the perfectly capable kids I’ve heard of in San Fran and Seattle who accept this begging lifestyle as a kind of cool drop out way of life.
They need a swift kick in the ass.

@jamielynn2328
Clint’s the man.. and obviously what San Francisco is missing..

filmfann's avatar

@SeventhSense What are you refering to?

SeventhSense's avatar

Your last answer. The wild bushman mentally ill man.

filmfann's avatar

What about him? Yes, he is scaring people to entertain others, who give him money. Yes, he is probably homeless. Yes, he might be crazy.
Other than nearly giving us heart attacks, he isn’t hurting anyone.
I found a video of him

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes but why is he even there? That’s a public nuisance. In my opinion if you’re panhandling, offer some real entertainment

SeventhSense's avatar

@MissAusten
Dennis probably thought Al was one of his buddies. Pacino often looks homeless.
Note to all of us guys over 40 (and definitely over 60). Not shaving and unkempt hair is not an edgy scruffy look at one point…. It just looks like you woke up hungover and forgot to shave..sigh..

chyna's avatar

Most of the by-standers weren’t smiling. I guess it takes a lot to make New Yorkers smile.

SeventhSense's avatar

@chyna
Well imagine having to put up with these guys on your daily commute across town
check out the guy reading the paper or the kid in the background:)

chyna's avatar

Yeah, it would get on my last nerve. But if it was in WV, you would have every obese woman with a tube top, 2 sizes too small, spandex shorts, grinning a toothless grin and dancing to the music. I need a new place to live.

SeventhSense's avatar

There’s always the fine bourbon..

chyna's avatar

<—- Doesn’t drink bourbon. I’ve never been on a subway, is that typical behavior?

SeventhSense's avatar

I meant the WV kind. :P

chyna's avatar

Moonshine? I’ve tried it. Puts hair on your chest.

Gokey's avatar

I wish I had a favorite homeless person.

Instead, I have a homeless person who I sort of dread. Every morning I walk past him on the way to school and he always calls me his “Asian Princess,” amongst a few other things… “Good morning, my Asian Princess.”

SeventhSense's avatar

@Gokey
Sounds a little creepy.

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