Beggars, homeless & junkies, Vancouver
I saw quite a few beggars in downtown Vancouver. Some asked me to loan them a nickle or a dime so they could make a phone call; they shouldn't call it a loan because I'm sure they wouldn't pay it back. I guess asking for a dollar or two is too much, so they ask for dimes - they save up for a bottle of mad dog or whatever.
Overall,Vancouver was a very safe city. Everyone is warned about the downtown eastside and it should probably be avoided. When in Gastown, don't go too far in either direction and you should be fine.
I found the homeless people on the streets to be intimidating at first, but they're harmless. Giving them money is a personal choice, but if you refuse, they usually just leave you alone and move on.