Beggars / Panhandlers / Homeless, Seattle

22 Reviews

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  • Beggars / Panhandlers / Homeless
    by mingomatic
  • Beggars / Panhandlers / Homeless
    by frankcanfly
  • Homeless  person at waterfront.
    Homeless person at waterfront.
    by jamiesno
  • L2G's Profile Photo

    Some local "panhandlers" are okay!

    by L2G Written Apr 5, 2005

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    Panhandling is a problem in Seattle because there are no city ordinances that outlaw it specifically (though there is a "no-sitting" ordinance meant to discourage it).

    But some "panhandlers" are actually out on the street selling a local paper called Real Change. It is a paper produced and sold by the local homeless population, and vendors get to keep a commission for the papers they sell. So feel good about supporting those vendors if you find them. (Just make sure they are wearing their identification badges and not asking for money beyond the price of the paper you buy.)

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  • Cabana_Boy's Profile Photo

    A common sight...

    by Cabana_Boy Updated Mar 6, 2005

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    Perhaps neither a warning nor danger, but Seattle has a high degree of homeless people wandering the downtown streets as with many big cities on the West coast. The homeless often compete with the tourists for choice space in public areas such as parks, public benches and squares overlooking the city’s famous sights. Perhaps it’s a little perverse, but I do enjoy the dichotomous mix of the homeless amongst the tourists. And when the cops come on the scene, it gets even better.

    The arrest...

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  • meteorologist1's Profile Photo

    Safety in Downtown Seattle

    by meteorologist1 Written Sep 10, 2004

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    I think downtown Seattle is pretty safe during the day, especially in the tourist areas. But I saw lots of beggars and homeless people in downtown Seattle, especially if you head away from the tourist areas. So beware and don't assume Seattle is the safest city on Earth. But definitely enjoy Seattle, its parks and views, etc.; Seattle is definitely not a run-down city by any means.

    Downtown Seattle
    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • There are alot of homeless...

    by Jonurse Written Aug 25, 2002

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    There are alot of homeless people in Seattle, and they can be occasionally aggressive. In areas like the University District you will run into all of the young homeless kids who came to Seattle looking for fame....I wouldn't recommend walking around alone at night downtown.

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  • Kay_C's Profile Photo

    There is a real problem with...

    by Kay_C Written Aug 25, 2002

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    There is a real problem with homeless people in the city. Although it seems like the right thing to do, do not give these people money it will only contribute to the problem - there are shelters and food pantries available for them.

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  • paulapes's Profile Photo

    Beware of begging dogs!...

    by paulapes Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Beware of begging dogs! Actually, there are many homeless people (and dogs) in the city, but they really don't bother you. I'm one of those who always gives them some money anyway, and how could anyone pass by this fella?! At least he was warm with his sweater and hat on.....

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  • smallone's Profile Photo

    There were a /lot/ of homeless...

    by smallone Written Aug 24, 2002

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    There were a /lot/ of homeless people while I was there, most of them exhibiting extreme antisocial tendencies (open destruction of public/private property, brawling in the streets, sleeping on any available surface). Due to the large amount of tourism, the homeless aren't the least bit afraid to approach people. Seattle discourages giving people hand-outs -- it's dangerous for you and you're not really helping the individual. If someone asks you for money or any other property, it's advised to tell them no.

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Comments (3)

  • Aug 20, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Physically shoved ? What did u say or do ? I have helped n enter acted with hundreds of homeless u had to really say or do something pretty ignorant to get shoved , I've seen homeless get angry many time times it's almost always that iam far better than you aditude that gets you in trouble , ya probley got less than you deserved ,these people get horribly abused almost every day espeaclely by figures of authority , but mostly by Aregant bully's who hate anyone who do not fit there profile they are victims of society as a whole most but not all come from broken homes n disjunctional family's victims of child abuse , sex abuse ,spouse abuse , rape ,beatings and or drug n and alcoholic family members . It's really sad how much pain n sorrow they suffer it would mess up anyone's head ! Try to give ear to them get to know them hear their pain it's real but be carefull not to get to close at the level many have fallen in their mental state they can easily lash out there pain is deep scaring it takes many years to help just one back to stable thinking ,I know I have dedicated my self to helping a few

  • PaulP53's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    Some of these comments just make me feel sick to my stomach. These stories of "dangerous, urine-soaked" people and parks with "human feces" everywhere is just some stuck-up tourist's BS - unless they stopped in some liminal industrial district to let their children play. Honestly, I'd just rather not have people like this come to Seattle. Most of the homeless will show you more kindness than the yuppie tourists walking around downtown.

    • Apr 30, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      Or not BS -- come check out Ballard, especially in the Library/Commons Park area, or down by the 7-11 near 15th Ave NW.

    • Aug 20, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Hey tourist a word from a Seattle home boy , I didnt like ur bull s story either they are our people too , I give constantly hey it's just a buck ! If ya lost a buck that fell out of ur pocket u wouldn't sweat it I am a low income n the last time I lost a five or ten I didn't sweat it it's just a buck for crying out loud ! Tourist creeps don't come back we don't need u ! Ok

  • Jan 1, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    I was appalled at how politically incorrect it is to complain about the aggressive panhandling problem. I was once even physically shoved. Yet residents regard these thugs as a species of endangered salmon. Best advice for tourists: pepper spray and/or a blackjack.

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