Over the past couple of days I've really started to take notice of panhandlers because they are part of my every day urban life experience. sometimes I offer to share my food with them or. Buy them something to eat. I always offer a smile, unless they look aggressive, and try to say hello, at least making eye contact.
Yesterday there was a particularly dapper man on my street and when I said I had no extra to offer he called me a "white bitch" which only made me laugh since I certainly wasn't going to suddenly reach in my pocket.
Today, in Hayes Valley, a homeless man reading a book actually stood as I was passing - part of his customer relations plan. I didn't offer anything and when I passed him again later he didn't stand. Well, I guess we all have to evaluate the ROI.