Well, we're in trouble now; Hemet will never be rid of panhandling since our local law enforcement has deemed panhandling a legal activity protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. I wonder how a guy can rise to the position of Chief of Police and not know anything about the original intent of the First Amendment but I digress.
So, for all you sympathetic do-gooders, here is a win-win solution to the problem.
You can provide assistance panhandlers, help your local economy, guarantee that your money will not be used for tobacco, drugs, or alcohol, help clean up your neighborhood, and minimize the problem of panhandling all with one clever package for about $2.50.
There is a bargain ($.98) store in my neighborhood. I purchased a can of potato crisps (similar to Pringles but not as tasty) for only $.98. Then I bought a 24 oz. can of Arnold Palmer Iced Tea with lemonade for $.98. They also have a brand of absorbent adult sized underwear (similar to Depends, only cheaper) in packages of 20 for about $10. That's about $.50 each.
You can make up several gift bags so you will always have them handy at grocery store parking lots and gas stations or wherever you may be solicited. Put the potato crisps, the iced tea, and one diaper in a plastic bag and give it to the panhandler. The potato crisps will feed him (I use this masculine pronoun in the generic sense and it is not intended to discriminate against females or any other confused gender concoction) if he's hungry. The iced tea is enough to sate his thirst, even on the hottest days. In fact, he will be overfilled and will soon need to relieve himself. The diaper is so he won't urinate or defecate in the doorways of the local merchants' shops or other public places. The bag will give him something to put his trash in, including his soiled diaper, until he has the time to walk 30 feet across the street and deposit it in the trash can. He will recycle the empty tea can for a nickel.
There you have it; you can feel all warm and fuzzy about showing mercy, compassion, and charity: you can support your local economy, assist your local law-enforcement, contribute to the beautification of your community, and you can do your part to protect the ecological health of the planet, all for about two and a half bucks (***SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE INFORMATION BELOW***).
Your hard-earned money will have been spent in a local merchant's store and the sales tax paid, will contribute to the support of the city's (soon to be imposed) Measure U tax increase for public safety.
Best of all (wait for it), THE BUM WILL PROBABLY NEVER ASK YOU FOR ANYTHING AGAIN. PROBLEM SOLVED.