Beggers and Bums, Memphis

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  • Stay on the beaten path

    by flaksb Written Mar 2, 2012

    Beggars, hustlers, and other shady characters are everywhere on and around Beale street. I just walked 100 yards from the Hampton Inn to a restaurant on Beale Street and was approached by two different beggars asking for money. The first one wreaked of alcohol and cold barely walk. The second one followed me for awhile before stopping me. He was sizing me up physically the entire time we were talking. Do some googling and you will see panhandling, robbery, shootings, stabbings, etc are not an uncommon occurrence in the area. There is a small army of petty criminals patrolling the area looking victims. I wouldn't recommend going to the area alone if you plan to drink and I wouldn't recommend leaving the main Beale Street area under any circumstances. The beggars and crime in the area detract a lot from what otherwise would be a great experience.

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  • Beggars everywhere

    by lilbleufreu Written Oct 29, 2011

    I am sure this is true of all major urban areas, but there are beggars EVERYWHERE here! You could literally be approached for money every 2-3 minutes. There are even posters downtown asking you not to give money to beggars. Don't look confused or act like you are looking for somewhere, or you will have multiple beggars approach you, offer you directions, and then ask for money in return. One guy came up to me and offered advice on where I should eat, so I smiled and said "Thanks" And then he said, "Buy me a sandwich." I didn't feel exactly intimidated, but it wasn't pleasant.

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  • bums and beggars

    by berniemac33 Written Sep 20, 2010

    I moved here from Wisconsin because of a job relocation. I was excited to go eat at the famous Rendezvous but then quickly found out they are closed on Sunday and Mondays. As soon as i turned around there was a guy trying to give me information on other restaurant. I said thank you and as i was walking away he stopped me to ask for money for the information he just gave me about the other restaurants. Just keep walking , don't talk to any of the beggars and they may go away if your lucky. So strange to me that the entrance to Rendezvous is in a alley. Bye the way , this happened to me in the daytime.

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    There's beggars in every city

    by aerowing Updated May 2, 2007

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    Memphis is no different then any other big city when it comes to beggars. I've been to Memphis at least a dozen times ( yes on Beale St everytime) and have NEVER had a problem. If someone asks for money simply say no and move on. Common sense prevails everytime. I live near Chicago and there's bums there too just like anywhere else. Beale street is a fun time.

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    Downtown Bums

    by Kene91 Written Jul 24, 2004

    I really doubt you can escape walking far from Beale Street or Peabody Place without being approached by a bum, sometimes it can be somewhat frightening when it seems like your the only ones around. Memphis has really tried to make an attempt to make downtown safe, but a little common sense will save you a lot of hassle. If your hotel is not right next to Peabody, take the trolley if you can. We walked twice at night to the Sleep Inn and made home safe after a lot of nervousness.

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  • BUMS

    by cford6 Written Nov 2, 2002

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    WATCH OUT FOR THE BUMS AND CRACKHEADS THAT HANG OUT ALL OVER THE CITY. BE CAREFUL OFF BEALE STREET. IF YOU GO TO BEALE STREET, STAY ON IT. DON'T GO WANDERING OFF IT BECAUSE YOU WILL GET ASKED FOR MONEY BY EVERY ONE OF THEM

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  • I've never encountered any...

    by Pamzam70 Written Aug 25, 2002

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    I've never encountered any 'dangerous situations,' but I will tell you that the areas surrounding Beale Street are a haven for beggars (don't go 'behind' Beale Street, on the South side of Beale Street. Almost directly behind Beale is a run-down neighborhood that would not be safe at night). If you are staying at a hotel downtown, and plan on walking back and forth to Beale Street, just be aware that you may encounter some people asking you for money. I've never had anything 'bad' happen, but still, be careful. I'm probably making it sound 'worse' than it is, but these people usually leave you alone if you tell them you don't have any money to give them.

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    Memphis has a lot of crime. A...

    by DrewV Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Memphis has a lot of crime. A lot of crime. You'll notice this, since downtown, a lot of stores have bars on the windows and bulletproof glass. Above all, avoid Lamar Street. This is one of the worst areas in the USA.

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Comments (3)

  • Oct 19, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I have just been to Memphis with my wife and two young daughters and have to say that we were shocked at the poverty and run down areas almost everywhere that we drove. we are from Australia and are not used to this kind of poverty. we have our problems also, but I have not been asked for money in any of our major cities ( I travel for work at home) for probably 20 years. In Memphis. it was every 20 minutes or less, until we learnt very quickly to avoid eye contact and reply to any questions or statement with a polite thanks, but no thanks. one trap to avoid is the cival rights museum on Tuesdays, when it is closed. we arrived at midday, walked to the entrance before realising it was closed, and on our walk back to the car, were approached by a guy asking for money,' no' did not suffice and he started to abuse my wife and I. what do you do? we got in the car and drove off (luckily) but this guy was quite aggressive. what a prick, did he have a gun, who knows and I did not want to test that theory out. I guess he went hungry that day with that attitude. I will help anybody,but this was quite the experience. we stayed at the crowne plaza in downtown Memphis, and could see up to 10 people sleeping across the road in a vacant lot, every day. Memphis is a great place with a fantastic vibe, and I will go back, but come on America, you are a great nation, get this *** together,please.

  • Dec 29, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Stayed at the Hampton inn near Beale street. There was a police presence around the area. Heading back to the hotel we on the 2nd street side we ran into a beggar. I was with my wife so we ignored him and kept on walking and he left us alone.
    Going back to the Hotel was an experience. After a certain time you are on your own as the staff leave. You use your card to access the hotel, elevator and of course your room. In the morning we got a knock on the door at 8:30 checking to see if we returned from last night. If you play by the rules you are fine. Do not venture far from Beale street and go in groups. After seeing Graceland the next day we left Memphis not really knowing any safe place to stay.


  • Dec 13, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I went to beale street with a group of friends, 3 lady's, 3 men& what i found is that is so nasty& we felt very unsafe. We kept having beggars follow us, asking for money, smokes, drinks, & what really made me sick..a group of young boys, 13& younger at the most, came up to us saying they had a friend who drove a cab, for $5 they would give him a call..for $5 they would tell us about a uncle who cooked the best bar b q. We said No, kept walking but then they just followed saying things like stuck up white f**ks & other things, we got out of memphis, & went to casino. Its one thing for grown people to beg, its sad when kids who need to be in class is doing it. Yes it was a Friday, & whoever said the law is all around, please!!! I seen two cops, standing by the hard rock, & not watching the kids.

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