A New York City panhandler has some unwelcome attention after it was revealed he makes as much as $200 an hour.
The man, who typically sits outside Grand Central Terminal with his dog, spoke to the New York Post.
“On a Friday morning, I make $400 in two hours,” 43-year-old Will Andersen said.
He sits with 9-year-old pup Rizzo on East 42nd Street between Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues.
The Grand Central Terminal panhandler has disappeared after being featured on the front page of The Post https://t.co/LopnZUwSDV
— New York Post Metro (@nypmetro) November 12, 2015
“Spare Any Change for Me and my Pooch,” his sign reads.
“I have gotten $80 or $100 from a single person. And they will say, ‘Just do something good tonight.’ They mean go to a hotel or a hostel,” he said.
“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.”
The Post said he’s now disappeared from his regular spot after his picture was published on the front page of the paper.
Many people have been sharing the story online, along with comments about the situation.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 11, 2015
“If u don’t realize they are making more then you .you have a problem..a average person gives a dollar…. in nyc u can get 30 people to give u it on a Sunday morning…that’s 30 bucks a hour all tax free think of it,” said one.
“I taught my kids long ago, if someone panhandles you, look to their feet. If he or she is truly homeless they will not be wearing $100 Air Jordans,” said another.
“You know our society is heading toward collapse when rich New Yorkers can give this guy’s dog more money in a week than the company I work my ass off for pays me in a month. Maybe I need to just get a small dog and some old clothes and sit on Fifth Ave. too….what a joke,” added yet another.
The situation comes after Police Commissioner William Bratton recently urged New Yorkers not to give money to panhandlers.
“My best advice to the citizens of New York City: If this is so upsetting to you, don’t give. One of the quickest ways to get rid of them is not to give to them,” Bratton said. “New Yorkers who are complaining so much about it, well, one of the things they can do is stop contributing to it.”
He also noted bums utilize animals to try to give people more money, which Andersen admitted is true.