Davis has its share of panhandlers, people who spend time asking other people for something, usually money. Some panhandlers may be honest folk living a different lifestyle, others may be having problems in life (mental health or addictions, even severe fiscal hardship due to the topsy-turvy economy) that make it difficult to get through life, while others are malicious con artists who approach you with a fabricated story to justify their need. While some are homeless, not all are. Be wary and use common sense, yes, but also remember to be be kind... you just never know, it could be you given the right set of circumstances.

Where to Find Them


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Just in case you were wondering, it's not George Swazo (caretaker of L and 2nd Garden). —MyaBrn

Panhandlers are often homeless, but they also include lazy people who just want the money you've worked for. —ApolloStumpy

2005-11-21 09:56:16   I would contend that panhandling is one of the most difficult jobs there is - those that think otherwise should try it sometime when they are feeling lazy and want some easy money. —SorryAboutThat

2010-05-30 20:41:30   I've encountered a nicely dressed man twice in front of the Orange Court on E Street who has a whole story about being stuck in Davis after his car broke down and he just needs a few more bucks to get a train ticket back to Oakland. He shows you his ID and seems to be an honest guy, but now that I've seen him give the same story twice several months apart, I'm seriously doubting his story. —MicheleTobias

2010-06-02 11:36:52   You know, it's not that all panhandlers are lazy. A lot of them HAVE jobs and STILL don't make enough money for rent (like me), and it's really upsetting for me to hear that people consider us lazy. I work 13/hrs/wk and spend 20/hrs/week looking for a second job (without luck, I might add) and the rest of the time I fly a sign that says "can't make all rent, anything helps" and when people say that I'm lazy are out of their minds. I work hard to keep a roof over my head and it's upsetting when people think I'm going to spend their hard earned money on something stupid (occasionally I will take the money and use it to buy household items such as toilet paper and laundry detergent or dog food, but I'm definitely not wasting it on alcohol or cigarettes. But I do know people who fly a sign just to get Brandy, and I get angry and kick them out of their spot. If you ever see me at CVS just say hi and be cordial. I'm not a bad person. ;3 —Mogitha

2010-11-30 22:01:30   As much as it seems the panhandlers are just lazy or seeking a fix, I am finding myself to be near the same line Mogitha is on having been laid off of one job earlier this year and now having my hours reduced to one shift at another... It is shameful and it is nothing to be proud of. Hopefully another opportunity will present itself before I need to take this desperate step. Been looking with no luck thus far... —Wes-P

2012-07-20 13:06:54   Lately, I've been seeing seeing a family in the Marketplace shopping center, and at University Mall. It's the father, mother, and at least 1 small (approximately 4 year old) child. They appear to be of Indian or Middle Eastern ethnicity, and seem to be genuinely in need... according to their sign, they are just seeking help with basic needs. Can anyone shed light on who these people are? —OldDavis73

2017-11-08 13:45:48   I can't stand the people who drive their family to a shopping center (in their car) and then stand at the exit with signs asking for money. It's more productive to just open a lemonade stand each weekend. —unsureAboutUserNames