Panhandler Brings in $200 an Hour, With a Cup and a Dog

Photo (cc) by bburky

Americans are generous. It’s that spirit of giving that’s enabled an unemployed 43-year-old former theater stagehand to rake in roughly $200 an hour panhandling in the Big Apple.

You read that correctly. Panhandler Will Andersen, who is jobless but not homeless, collects $200 an hour from generous New Yorkers, according to The New York Post. Andersen said he sits with his 9-year-old dog Rizzo outside Grand Central Terminal with a sign reading: “Spare any change for me and my pooch.”

Andersen’s success at panhandling has allowed him to move off the streets, where he had lived for three years, and into a room that he rents with his begging money.

“I get people who give me five bucks each day. Five bucks each day, that’s five days a week, two people — that’s $50 a week right there. I get dog food. I put away for rent. I pay $300 a month, that’s nothing,” Andersen told the Post.

Panhandling has proved to be lucrative for Andersen and a “legion of beggars in [New York] hauling in big bucks and a smorgasbord of food doing nothing but sitting on the sidewalk with hands out,” according to The Post.

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton recently came under fire for urging New Yorkers to quit giving money to panhandlers and homeless people if they wanted to see vagrants off the city streets.

“My best advice to the citizens of New York City — if this is so upsetting to you, don’t give,” he said, according to The New York Daily News.

“One of the quickest ways to get rid of them is not to give to them,” he added.

Mary Brosnahan, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, dismissed the commissioner’s approach.

“If he thinks the number of people in need is going to diminish because people don’t give, he’s mistaken,” Brosnahan told the Daily News. “You have to follow your conscience.”

But even some panhandlers in the New York Post story said they think Bratton is right.

“If you stop giving them money and help them with those other things, like blankets, clothing and food, they would definitely leave because they would know they couldn’t get the money to get high or drunk,” said Shaunyece Darling, 22, who panhandles with her boyfriend, dog and three cats.

What do you do when you encounter panhandlers? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Current events have you feeling anxious? These Amazon products can take the edge off.

How to Save Up to 70% on 7 Everyday Purchases
How to Save Up to 70% on 7 Everyday Purchases

Stop getting sucked into paying a premium when good alternatives are available at huge savings.

3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts
3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts

Protecting a nest egg is tough enough. Don’t make the situation far worse.

5 Ways to Put an End to Junk Mail
5 Ways to Put an End to Junk Mail

Here’s how to keep unwanted mail from clogging your mailbox and trash can.

10 Food Staples That Are Easy and Cheap to Make Yourself
10 Food Staples That Are Easy and Cheap to Make Yourself

Making any of these key foods yourself will improve meals — and your budget.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.