Signs for change: Rally held in Holland against panhandling

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HOLLAND, Mich. - They are a group of people known for confronting others who claim to be homeless and beg for money on street corners across West Michigan.

Saturday a handful of the members of the Facebook group called 'West Michigan Hardly Homeless Panhandlers' held signs of their own at the corner of James Street and US 31 in Holland.

The signs contained slogans like, "Real change not spare change".

The group claims to be encouraging people to help find a solution to homelessness other than hand money out a car window.

One of the organizers of the demonstration Dawn Tilley said, "Real change is to help the homeless.  It's to go down and donate your time, your money and if you have canned goods, food, or coats for the kids, that is where you go."

FOX 17 first introduced you to this group in July.  Members of the group encouraging people to post interactions with panhandlers to the Facebook page.  One such video shows a person holding a cell phone and confronting a man with as he holds a sign asking for money from passing drivers.  The video ensues the the person is only posing as a homeless person.

FOX 17 also spoke to one of the targets of the groups confrontation a couple days later.  A 20-year-old named Jesse Dyer defended his actions and said he really was homeless.

"They don't know me," he said.  "They don't understand what I go through everyday.  "They're just out to get Facebook famous."

Sarah Tufflemire attended the demonstration on Saturday.

"They think that we are attacking homeless people but we are not," she said.  "We are against the people who say they are homeless and really in reality they are not."

The actions of the group have been dubbed by some as the 'Panhandler Paparazzi' but they argue their mission goes beyond exposing alleged bogus beggars.

They want to encourage people to give to local rescue missions where they say real change can occur.

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  • Questions

    I understand anyone can become homeless.
    I do not understand why the local section 8 housing is occupied largely by transients from Chicago and Detroit.
    Why can’t local people who need get it?

    Something is going on….

    • honesty

      Asians driving luxury cars and buying food with EBT cards as well!
      If I had even a quarter for every time I have seen them talking on their expensive phones and paying for their groceries with EBT only to take their fresh catch from the American taxpayers out to their BMW’s and Mercede’s SUV’s!
      Those derelicts go from a cart to a Benz in no time flat, But cannot afford to pay for their food?
      Wake up America, They are the biggest scammers! They take tax payers money, are handed practically every thing, including businesses and health care and then behave like the Americans are evil?

  • Joe

    That little girl didn’t even really know why she was there. Go home to your mommy amd daddies lakeside home and leave the needy alone if you until you understand real life and hard times

  • Pat

    Kids………. How about people give to whatever they want and you mind your own business! Panhandling dates back to biblical times. Get over it.

  • cris covington

    not your place to judge why people are begging for money. i give and hope its because they really need food. and if they lied about that.. then they answer for that in the end. NOT me. and i don’t give to charities mostly because so little of what you give actually gets to the people who need it. first they gotta pay their bills and people and all that. have their meetings and conventions. then give a couple cents to the needy. NOT my idea of helping. and if i give it to the person directly then i know it all got where i wanted it to go.

    • Jake

      You know it all got where you wanted it to go? Well I guess that’s true, if where you wanted it to go was in some drug dealers pocket… or was it the liquor store?

  • Olivia

    Wow… That’s shameful, I bet these kids have no idea what it’s like standing in line for God’s kitchen in the winter for one meal, or being so hungry you don’t have the energy to cry about your situation. Being homeless is not a joke and the way they are exposing these people for self rite pus satisfaction makes me sick.

  • Max

    I really want to know how Ms. Tufflemire knows the difference between “real” homeless and “fake” homeless. What is her personal criteria? How did she get her facts? Did she actually talk to these people, take the time to get to know them and hear their story? Or, is she just jumping on the bandwagon of others that have not thouroughly checked their facts? Why do I hear about people harassing the “homeless” on the corners? Where is the Facebook page for the drug dealers that are selling on other corners? Hmmmmmm is it because it is not as scary to harass a homeless person as a real criminal? What is next? Will I be seeing a FB page where you can order a “do-gooder cape” in your favorite color to wear along the lakeshore? FOCUS PEOPLE!!!!!! I am all about making the world a better place, If you are going to stand up for something don’t take the easy way out. It seems like these people are kicking puppies when they should really be out there catching the big dogs that are actually attacking people.

  • Isma

    The girl in the video says she feels cheated. But why feel cheated? People only feel cheated when they expect something in return. And when you give charity and expect something than it is really not charity. Did Jesus expect anything of you when he died? If he did what could you have given in return for his life? Nothing… So if one is gonna give charity don’t expect nothing back and don’t let people know about it other wise your charity is worthless. It does not matter what the receiver does that matters it is what the giver does that matters. People are mad because they were expecting something that they did not receive and like i said, if they were expecting something was it really charity?

    • Jake

      When most people give money to charity they do expect something. They expect the money to be used responsibly. If that doesn’t happen most people would feel cheated. I don’t see how that is so hard to understand…

  • honesty

    BTW, Give to charities?
    Why don’t you all check out the earnings of these “charity” CEO’s like Red cross, Goodwill, etc?
    The amount these “nonprofits” make is an obscene amount!
    Tsk tsk! Greedy Wh@res!

  • smack upside the head

    Its simple, If you dont feel like giving, simply move on- Stop sticking your noses on where it does not belong, If it isn’t coming from your pocket—- Butt out, Mind your business—
    Thats what I do!
    If you ate soooo into charoties then drag your nosey asses down to one and then break your arm patting yourselves on the back- attention whores

    • Jake

      It’s hard to just move on when this scam artist woman has been in my front yard every day for months. This is in our neighborhoods and our families neighborhoods, why don’t you take your own advice and mind your own business. What happens in front of my house is my business. When someone asks your kids for money every day for months we’ll see how understanding you are.

  • Rick

    It will be all fun and games until one of them goes and confronts the wrong panhandler what if they don’t want to be confronted and respond in anger and they get hurt them what will happen oh that’s right the panhandler will go to jail for hurting one of them and they will be free to do it all over again you don’t see them doing this to the panhandlers in grand rapids now do you

  • nunya bizness!

    WTH? If you are such a crusader, Why hide behind those stupid looking goggles? I highly doubt that bit@h gave anything to anyone…EVER! Mind your own business you bunch of hags! I know, How about getting a job yourselves instead of assuming you know who is or is not homeless…
    Nosy Tightwad Hollanders!

    • Jake

      You won’t be saying it’s nobodies business when they are standing in your front yard day after day begging for money they obviously don’t need. If you want to continue to be gullible and give away your money for no reason go ahead, just do it somewhere other than in front of my house. These losers sit in residential neighborhoods and beg on corners and in the streets. Bothering the same people day after day. Like seriously, how many times do I have to say no to the same loser before it’s harassment? One stays right down the road from Black River School and begs as the children walk by. I’m sorry but that isn’t right, especially if you’re a fraud. BTW I live in Grand Rapids and just visit Holland, at least the panhandlers here stick to the main roads.

  • tory

    If they expect me to hand over money that I worked hard for, you damn right I want to know if they really need it or if theyr just playin me. WHy cant a 20 year old find work if they are able bodied? When I was young and homeless I got off my ass and got a job. Now days they dont even have the excuse of not having a phone, the govt covers thatfor them too! Ive even seen pg girls out there beggin, why when they can get housing, food, health care, even a PHONE for Gods sake.

  • chad

    Don’t give to these homeless pieces of crap. If they aren’t homeless, they are pieces of crap. If they are homeless there are plenty of places to get food, clothes, personal effects for FREE! I know, I live in my car and have had to take advantage of these services.