An elderly panhandler caught on video getting into a brand new car has gotten a lot of attention online. Many people are as angry as the guy on the video confronting the woman.
The woman had been standing on the median to the entrance to Quail Springs Mall from Pennsylvania Avenue. She was holding a sign saying she was a 78-year-old widow and she needed money.
Daniel Alyla is the one in the video yelling at the woman as she sits in her car.
“You asking for money in the middle of the street and you drive a 2014 car,” he said.
Alyla said he works two jobs, but still tries to give to people who need help.
“I see you hungry, every day I give you three dollars, two dollars, Thursday I did not eat to give you four dollars,” Alyla told the woman.
“It made me mad when I saw her Monday behind this gas station parked counting the money, she had a lot of money in her lap and I couldn't take it,” said Alyla on Friday.
Despite the fact that the video has been shared 37,000 times on Facebook by Friday afternoon and viewed nearly 2,000,000 times, the lady was back at the same place on Friday. But she didn't want to talk about her car and even hit our photojournalist when he asked her about it.
According to the Homeless Alliance only about 20% of panhandlers are actually homeless.
“By far the majority of panhandlers we see are panhandling for cash, typically to support unhealthy behaviors, often alcoholism and other addictions.” said Dan Straughan-Executive Director of the Homeless Alliance.
That's why they encourage people to give out vouchers they have had made up instead with information about shelters, a map and bus ticket to get there.
“If you're really in need, this gives you access to where your needs can be met,” said Straughan.
It's a lesson, Daniel said he has now learned.
“I'm not going to do it no more, never, never, never will give no money no more.”
You can get a hold of the voucher books by contacting the homeless alliance. They cost $5 for a book of five to cover the cost of the bus ticket.