Scam Patrol

People fighting their way through Saturday afternoon traffic didn’t know what to make of the two women standing in the median near the intersection of Preston and LBJ. They waved at passing cars, smiled and held a sign that read, “We are not homeless, hungry or jobless. We just want to go shopping.”

Susan Pinson and Jeanette Buswold decided to make their statement after seeing recent television and newspaper reports that warned against giving money to people holding “will work for food” signs. According to the reports, not only do cash handouts harm recipients by keeping them trapped in a cycle of poverty, but many sign-holders have been turning a tidy profit and prefer to avoid work. Both Pinson and Buswold say they have offered help to people who turned them down. “1 offered a man a 10-pound ham to come to my house and do work,” says Pinson. “He didn’t want it.”

So the women broke out their markers and picked an intersection where one woman already stood, holding a sign reading, “Homeless mother.”

“We’re not saying don’t give to the poor,” said Pinson. “We’re just saying help them in other ways.”

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