Panhandlers, Key West
Every morning, homeless folks, at some beaches such as Higgs and Smathers can be as many as 20 homeless folks sleeping, and showering on the beach in the mornings. At Simonton Beach you could count on 4 or 5 lined up by the fence at all times. You really don't feel like leaving your keys etc. on the beach and going for a swim.
If you have to be homeless, Key West is Best. Free coconuts , free showers, and the trash cans are full.
THERE ARE ALOT OF HOMELESS ON THE STREETS AND BEACHES.THEY WILL ASK FOR MONEY OR ASK TO TAKE YOUR PICTURE LIKE THEY'RE DOING YOU A FAVOR THEN ASK YOU FOR A BUCK---BY THE WAY THIS IS AGAINTS THE LAW AND THE COPS WILL ARREST THEM FOR THIS.ALSO DON'T BUY ANY PALM MADE HATS OR DECORATIONS FROM FOLKS ON THE STREET UNLESS THEY HAVE A LICENSE TO SELL--MOST OF THESE PEOPLE CUT THE LEAVES OFF OF PALM TREES FROM AROUND THE ISLAND WHICH IS ILLEGAL.
I was told that Key West is full of bums and panhandlers, although we only had a 2 second encounter with a guy asking for change. In this case do as I do in Detroit--ignore them. Unless you have something to give them, of course!
Been there once, which was enough. Panhandlers, drunks, druggies all over the place. Beaches are full of them. Why does Key West allow this??? If approached, CALL THE POLICE. Don't let kids near them--some have criminal backgrounds.
Too many of them, they were all high or intoxicated, and they will yell obsenities at you for no apparent reason. They really bring your trip down. Just walking down the street one guy asked me " Can you give me some money so I can get a buzz?" Believe me, he was buzzing already. They also like to flop on the streets in large groups. Another older homeless guy was chatting with his friend and paused his conversation just to look at me and scream " RRrraaaaahhhhh!!!" as I walked by, he did this for absolutly no reason.
They really need to remove all the homeless!
When we visited the "Southern Most Point in the U.S." landmark (the big barrel that says "90 Miles to Cuba") we were harassed by two homeless men hanging out there- one of them being extremely hostile.
While most of the people panhandling on the street, and there are a lot of them, are fairly passive, I have seen a couple incidents with more aggressive fellows. Walk with a purpose or you will be stopped every other block along duval street.