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Signs of the times
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I feel compelled to write about something sad that affects me every day. It seems that the number of people holding a sign asking for money is greater than ever. Some of the messages really tug at your heartstrings.

I find myself avoiding eye contact. I almost feel guilty that I have a good job, especially if I don't hand them money.

There must be some other way to obtain money. Maybe I am wrong, maybe they have tried, but I would rather mow lawns or clean windows to earn some money than stand all day like that.

Often there is a pile of garbage left where they have been, and someone has to clean that up. Ironically, it is probably a paid government employee.

I see the same people at freeway exits and intersections and I have mixed feelings. My compassionate side would love to help; my skeptical side is not sure that what I read on their sign is the truth.

I know there truly are hardship cases, but I don't want to be a dupe, either. How do we know which is which?

Gina Petersen


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