JONESBORO, Ark. – A video with over 33,000 views shows a Jonesboro panhandling-regular holding a sign saying “will work” while in front of a sign that says “now hiring.”
Dave Kary videoed the man with the sign on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The video itself is one that, if the viewer didn’t know the full story, might seem insensitive. However, to drivers in Jonesboro and in Paragould too, this man is a regular fixture at many busy intersections – an observation from this reporter, others who have contacted NEA Report, and Kary, as well.
“I’ve seen him for the past year up and down Red Wolf Boulevard with the same sign,” Kary said. “I even saw him walking to a nicer vehicle in the Kroger parking lot and leave in it one day”
Others have commented on the Kroger parking spot as well.
But the panhandler found himself in a perfect spot to become a social media sensation Tuesday. Holding the sign up that said his family was out of food, the man stood in front of a “Now Hiring” announcement on a Domino’s Pizza sign on Red Wolf Boulevard in Jonesboro.
Kary saw the future social media post before his very eyes.
“I was on my way home from work and caught the red light on Red Wolf and Race,” Kary said. “[I] just happened to look past his sign and saw the “now hiring” sign and just had to capture the moment.”
Sadly, many have seen this man and others in Jonesboro regularly standing at intersections with signs and pitiful eyes for anyone who might look their way. Although most reasonable people should agree with sympathy for those in need, this person and several others have realized there is easy money to be made by begging.
The above story describes a situation not unique to this particular panhandler, or others, as witnesses have detailed to this reporter. In Dec. 2017, on the same stretch of road, the same man acquiesced to a woman trying to help him that he did this for a living. She contacted us and sent us the above photo along with her observations.
Panhandling is legal in Arkansas and laws banning it have been struck down. They are considered infringements on the First Amendment.
Despite testimonials from some who tried to help the man, only to be told no thanks, several insisted the video was wrong. Alyssa insisted that drivers who see the man each day should consider only love and what “the Godly thing to do is.” Aaron suggested maybe he has an application in with Domino’s already.
The well-intended comments from those who feel sympathy for panhandling regulars are no doubt coming from the right place. However, based on the testimonials of at least four who have helped the man, the statement “will work for food” seems to only apply to the act of working a street corner with a sign.
The man was back working the same area in town Wednesday afternoon.