Are SoHummers More Giving? Or Just Bigger Suckers?

Guest post by Kim McPherson:

So, in October, my son & I were in the parking lot of the mall in Eureka when this woman approached us.

“Are you from SoHum?” she says.

And I think, “Whoa, it must really show.”

We stop walking and confirm that we are indeed from SoHum.

“There’s something wrong with my ATM card & my Subaru is outta gas. I just need to get home. If you could help me out, I’ll pay you back. I live on Sawmill Road.”

Part of me thinks this is bullshit, but part of me wants to believe the stranded neighbor story. Unfortunately, I don’t have any small bills, so I turn to my son.

“You got a ten?” Like the kind young man he is, he fishes a bill from his wallet and hands it to the woman.

“Thanks so much! You guys are awesome!”

I tell her where she can find me to return my Son’s money & we smile and part ways.

I never see that ten again.

Last night, my Husband, my Son & I are in the parking lot at Target trying to decide if there is anything else we need from the big city when a woman approaches us.

“Hey, are you guys from SoHum?”

I recognize her. My response is a terse “Yes” as I stare at the pavement of the parking lot. I gave my Son’s money to this Bum! Because of people like her, he’ll probably be less likely to help people who might really need it & I’m just plain embarrassed…. like everyone can read the “SUCKER” that’s written on my forehead. I’m really hoping she’ll just walk away.

She doesn’t. She starts her little story.

Normally I’m a pretty kind person. A lot of the time when I’m angry no one can even tell. This isn’t one of those times. I can feel the anger rolling off of me like a foul stench.

“I’m not falling for it again!” As I say it, I look sideways at her. It startles her and she begins to fidget and mumble nervous laughter bubbles out of her mouth.

She sputters, “Do I know you?”

That sideways look again.

“Was I supposed to pay you back?”

“You were supposed to pay MY KID back!”

I look back at the ground. She mumbles and stutters.

“Whatever,” I reply like an angry teen.

She wanders off and we get in the car.  As we drive away my Husband says, “I’ve never seen you be so mean.” And I have to explain the whole story to him. While I am, my Son says he didn’t believe her the first time but he knows I’m soft.

I thought telling the story would make me feel better… but I’m still mad.

Kim added in an email to me last night,  “…[J]ust for fun I should tell [you] my neighbor got suckered  Saturday at Rays Bayshore parking lot… I kinda gotta laugh— When you find a good gig, WORK IT.

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73 comments

  • I have seen her at both locations as well using the same line.

  • I have seen her at both locations as well using the same line.

  • I agree that when you find a good gig, work it, but to me the opperative word here is ‘good’. Lying to people, deceiving people is not ‘good.’ She needs to find a way to offer something of value to others in exchange for their money. Of course, maybe she doesn’t know this or believe that she has anything of value, but it still doesn’t make scamming people ‘good.’

  • I agree that when you find a good gig, work it, but to me the opperative word here is ‘good’. Lying to people, deceiving people is not ‘good.’ She needs to find a way to offer something of value to others in exchange for their money. Of course, maybe she doesn’t know this or believe that she has anything of value, but it still doesn’t make scamming people ‘good.’

  • I have a similar story, although mine happened in Garbervile and includes even more money than $10. I, also, doubted I would ever see the money again and I was correct. However, as I related the story to a friend at church she put it in perspective for me. Her theory is, if you give in good faith, what ‘they’ do with the money is up to them. The blessings are yours.

  • There are good folks too. I lost my wallet with 200$ cash around Willow Creek and never expected to see it again. I also just assumed someone would use the 215 in it. Got it back! Full!
    I know it is not the same, but honesty is still a “thing” in Humboldt.

  • There are good folks too. I lost my wallet with 200$ cash around Willow Creek and never expected to see it again. I also just assumed someone would use the 215 in it. Got it back! Full!
    I know it is not the same, but honesty is still a “thing” in Humboldt.

  • I experienced a similar incident in Eureka a couple of years ago, though the guy didn’t ask if I was from SoHum. He needed $20 for gas to get home to his family. I decided, that if, on the off chance, he was honest I needed to help him. And if he wasn’t honest, oh well. He probably needed it more than I did.

  • I experienced a similar incident in Eureka a couple of years ago, though the guy didn’t ask if I was from SoHum. He needed $20 for gas to get home to his family. I decided, that if, on the off chance, he was honest I needed to help him. And if he wasn’t honest, oh well. He probably needed it more than I did.

  • Well I don’t feel so bad anymore, my wife and I had just come out of shopping at Costco, we were preparing to load our items into our truck when this older model black ford Taurus came blazing across the parking lot to a frantic stop next to us. (A get out of the way or get run over moment.) a middle aged woman asked if we were locals? Uhhuh. Was the answer. The woman proceeds to tell us that her daughter was involved in a hit and run accident in Willits and she needs to raise $40 for gas money to go pick her up. She was trembling visibly while she told the story. We parted with $4 and she sped away to find the next victim. I must say, I did not believe her story but the acting was so good it deserved a tip. If she keeps this up she will find herself in trouble when she repeats the act on the same person twice like the story above. That’s when it fails to be cute. And yes, it ruins it for the person who genuinely needs help in a pinch.

    • Oh geeze… I got hit up by the woman with the same description as yours at Eureka Whole Foods. She was nearly crying and I felt so sorry for her that I gave her $20.00, oh well live and learn..

    • This woman came up to me a few months back outside of Ross’s, but I told her no. As I waited for my husband, she drove up to him as he was walking towards my car and she proceed with the story and I looked at my honey and said it’s a bullshit story and she speed off. with all the amount of time she went in and out of that parking lot she used up all the gas money she was supposedly trying to get. My husband was also a little surprised at my anger but when he saw her continue to hit up others he got it. Sorry your son was out ten bucks, but it may be a cheap lesson learned. I’m for giving a hand to a needy person and I try and choose the times I think will really help the person along, but not use it for speed or crack etc. Others may leave it up to fate and thats fine, I have to have somewhat of a good feeling about my action. There are some folks that have little offering bags to give out (maybe a few food items that dont need to be heated,a drink,some warm items , you get the idea..maybe I’ll get a few ready for this colder weather.

  • Well I don’t feel so bad anymore, my wife and I had just come out of shopping at Costco, we were preparing to load our items into our truck when this older model black ford Taurus came blazing across the parking lot to a frantic stop next to us. (A get out of the way or get run over moment.) a middle aged woman asked if we were locals? Uhhuh. Was the answer. The woman proceeds to tell us that her daughter was involved in a hit and run accident in Willits and she needs to raise $40 for gas money to go pick her up. She was trembling visibly while she told the story. We parted with $4 and she sped away to find the next victim. I must say, I did not believe her story but the acting was so good it deserved a tip. If she keeps this up she will find herself in trouble when she repeats the act on the same person twice like the story above. That’s when it fails to be cute. And yes, it ruins it for the person who genuinely needs help in a pinch.

    • Oh geeze… I got hit up by the woman with the same description as yours at Eureka Whole Foods. She was nearly crying and I felt so sorry for her that I gave her $20.00, oh well live and learn..

    • This woman came up to me a few months back outside of Ross’s, but I told her no. As I waited for my husband, she drove up to him as he was walking towards my car and she proceed with the story and I looked at my honey and said it’s a bullshit story and she speed off. with all the amount of time she went in and out of that parking lot she used up all the gas money she was supposedly trying to get. My husband was also a little surprised at my anger but when he saw her continue to hit up others he got it. Sorry your son was out ten bucks, but it may be a cheap lesson learned. I’m for giving a hand to a needy person and I try and choose the times I think will really help the person along, but not use it for speed or crack etc. Others may leave it up to fate and thats fine, I have to have somewhat of a good feeling about my action. There are some folks that have little offering bags to give out (maybe a few food items that dont need to be heated,a drink,some warm items , you get the idea..maybe I’ll get a few ready for this colder weather.

  • She got me too.. Darn tricky tweekers. Right when I started to have compassion in my life I get piped by this scam. Next time i see her and her junky boyfriend ( who lurks in the car the whole time) I’m going to give them enough money to O.D.

    • She got me also, She was at Eureka Natural Foods, same line, said she lived up Sawmill road, gave her ten bucks, she said she would pay me back, I told her just pass it on. I got had, Oh well. it happenes.

  • She got me too.. Darn tricky tweekers. Right when I started to have compassion in my life I get piped by this scam. Next time i see her and her junky boyfriend ( who lurks in the car the whole time) I’m going to give them enough money to O.D.

    • She got me also, She was at Eureka Natural Foods, same line, said she lived up Sawmill road, gave her ten bucks, she said she would pay me back, I told her just pass it on. I got had, Oh well. it happenes.

  • I always look at their shoes. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught beggars wearing very expensive shoes!

  • I always look at their shoes. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught beggars wearing very expensive shoes!

  • Fiance here: We have quite the homeless population too. There are panhandlers at almost every intersection. There are several regulars. There is one guy who has a sign that says “Will work for beer”. I like him, he is honest. I usually can scratch up some change and a smoke for him. There is another guy that has been on the same corner for about 5 years, his sign says “went broke need money to for bus ticket home.” He is not honest, won’t give him a dime. But like Myrna says, whether you believe them or not, if you give in good faith you get karma points no matter how they use the money or if their story is true. It is they not you that lose karma points.

  • Fiance here: We have quite the homeless population too. There are panhandlers at almost every intersection. There are several regulars. There is one guy who has a sign that says “Will work for beer”. I like him, he is honest. I usually can scratch up some change and a smoke for him. There is another guy that has been on the same corner for about 5 years, his sign says “went broke need money to for bus ticket home.” He is not honest, won’t give him a dime. But like Myrna says, whether you believe them or not, if you give in good faith you get karma points no matter how they use the money or if their story is true. It is they not you that lose karma points.

  • Kim, the same exact thing happened with me about a month ago. The same exact story. The same lady. I was outside the co-op in Eureka. I was leaving and she asked me if I was from So-hum and proceeded to tell me the same story as you and I the gave her a 10. She said she would pay me back some how. I never expected to see her or the ten again but certainly did not realize the she is doing this all the time. Well God bless her. I hope she gets the help that she really needs…….whatever that is.

  • Kim, the same exact thing happened with me about a month ago. The same exact story. The same lady. I was outside the co-op in Eureka. I was leaving and she asked me if I was from So-hum and proceeded to tell me the same story as you and I the gave her a 10. She said she would pay me back some how. I never expected to see her or the ten again but certainly did not realize the she is doing this all the time. Well God bless her. I hope she gets the help that she really needs…….whatever that is.

  • A woman named Krista stopped me outside of Costco a couple of months ago (recognized her as a sometime customer at Cafe Bella). Told me she left her wallet at home, etc. I gave her $40; she said she’d come by soon. Last month, saw her at Redway Shell and told her I wanted that money back right then! She then said that she was going to get paid later that day and would bring it by. She LIED !!! Kym, I’m thinking ‘bigger suckers’.

  • A woman named Krista stopped me outside of Costco a couple of months ago (recognized her as a sometime customer at Cafe Bella). Told me she left her wallet at home, etc. I gave her $40; she said she’d come by soon. Last month, saw her at Redway Shell and told her I wanted that money back right then! She then said that she was going to get paid later that day and would bring it by. She LIED !!! Kym, I’m thinking ‘bigger suckers’.

  • I don’t give anyone money unless I don’t want to see it again. Frankly, I’ve quit “donating” to anyone who hits me up in parking lots or street corners. I have other causes that I can give my money to who need it much more.
    That said, I don’t think that makes you a big sucker, Kym. I think it makes you a kind hearted person. It sucks that someone would take advantage of it.
    I always think of it as good Karma. I give and I will receive. It doesn’t matter who I give it to. It only matters that I gave it to help another human being.
    I think you’re awesome!

  • I don’t give anyone money unless I don’t want to see it again. Frankly, I’ve quit “donating” to anyone who hits me up in parking lots or street corners. I have other causes that I can give my money to who need it much more.
    That said, I don’t think that makes you a big sucker, Kym. I think it makes you a kind hearted person. It sucks that someone would take advantage of it.
    I always think of it as good Karma. I give and I will receive. It doesn’t matter who I give it to. It only matters that I gave it to help another human being.
    I think you’re awesome!

  • Same story Eureka Natural Foods
    She knew my name and that I was the Chiro here
    I gave her 20
    then my gut felt bad
    so I went to do other biz and purposefully came back to see her
    I was just on time to see her go up to an other mark
    I got out of my car and asked her how much money she needed to get home
    that kind of blew her deal

  • Same story Eureka Natural Foods
    She knew my name and that I was the Chiro here
    I gave her 20
    then my gut felt bad
    so I went to do other biz and purposefully came back to see her
    I was just on time to see her go up to an other mark
    I got out of my car and asked her how much money she needed to get home
    that kind of blew her deal

  • Once while filling his pickup with gas near Safeway in Willits, a man came up to my husband & asked for money for diapers. Said he was travelling with his family, had enough food & gas to get home but was flat broke & needed diapers for the baby. A woman & baby were in a car nearby. He said he was embarrassed to beg but he didn’t know what else to do. My husband told him that if he would wait, he’d go over to Safeway with him & buy the diapers for him. The man waited, they went to Safeway together & bought diapers. For all we know, the man returned the diapers for cash but he was willing to wait & go through the motions… we’ll never know, I guess.

  • Once while filling his pickup with gas near Safeway in Willits, a man came up to my husband & asked for money for diapers. Said he was travelling with his family, had enough food & gas to get home but was flat broke & needed diapers for the baby. A woman & baby were in a car nearby. He said he was embarrassed to beg but he didn’t know what else to do. My husband told him that if he would wait, he’d go over to Safeway with him & buy the diapers for him. The man waited, they went to Safeway together & bought diapers. For all we know, the man returned the diapers for cash but he was willing to wait & go through the motions… we’ll never know, I guess.

  • OMG Kim the same lady in a Subaru did the same thing to Kels and i in the Eureka natural foods parking lot…Said her ATM card wasnt working and needed gas to get back to So.Hum…..She suckered me for a $20!

  • OMG Kim the same lady in a Subaru did the same thing to Kels and i in the Eureka natural foods parking lot…Said her ATM card wasnt working and needed gas to get back to So.Hum…..She suckered me for a $20!

  • We’ve been hit up at least four times with the “Are you guys from SoHum?” line. Twice by the guy who used to own Nacho Mama, and twice by a woman I didn’t recognize. We helped each out ONCE.

  • We’ve been hit up at least four times with the “Are you guys from SoHum?” line. Twice by the guy who used to own Nacho Mama, and twice by a woman I didn’t recognize. We helped each out ONCE.

  • Whenever I get to feeling guilty about not giving to these beggars, I drop some money at a club that I belong to ( not naming, and not begging) The club can cure polio at two dollars a dose, because all other expenses are volunteered. The club also gives food baskets to hungry kids at the local schools. One in four children in the U.S. are malnurished. It helps ease the pain of wondering if you are doing the right thing.

  • Whenever I get to feeling guilty about not giving to these beggars, I drop some money at a club that I belong to ( not naming, and not begging) The club can cure polio at two dollars a dose, because all other expenses are volunteered. The club also gives food baskets to hungry kids at the local schools. One in four children in the U.S. are malnurished. It helps ease the pain of wondering if you are doing the right thing.

  • That guy, Jeff, that John mentioned (past owner of Nacho Mama) was actually slinking pretty low in the car when I saw Krista at Redway Shell and told her that I wanted my money back. Come to think of it, it WAS a Suburu. I hope word about these two gets spread around in a big way… so that they’re no longer conning folks in our community here in the south and in the north as well.

  • That guy, Jeff, that John mentioned (past owner of Nacho Mama) was actually slinking pretty low in the car when I saw Krista at Redway Shell and told her that I wanted my money back. Come to think of it, it WAS a Suburu. I hope word about these two gets spread around in a big way… so that they’re no longer conning folks in our community here in the south and in the north as well.

  • There’s a guy who comes by the wash the windows at my office all the time. I give him $5.00.

    The people who work for me says he’s a junkie who horks on the window so that he’ll have something to clean up.

    I say who cares? I give first because I need to give, and second because he needs it.

    If someone’s fallen so low, economically and spiritually, that they’re panhandling then I think they’re worse off than you are. You don’t need to believe the story. You can listen, but don’t even play the sucked in/not sucked in game.

    Like the son said – he knew it was a line but he knew his mother was a softy so he gave the ten bucks. Smart kid, and a good kid. Mom should be proud.

  • There’s a guy who comes by the wash the windows at my office all the time. I give him $5.00.

    The people who work for me says he’s a junkie who horks on the window so that he’ll have something to clean up.

    I say who cares? I give first because I need to give, and second because he needs it.

    If someone’s fallen so low, economically and spiritually, that they’re panhandling then I think they’re worse off than you are. You don’t need to believe the story. You can listen, but don’t even play the sucked in/not sucked in game.

    Like the son said – he knew it was a line but he knew his mother was a softy so he gave the ten bucks. Smart kid, and a good kid. Mom should be proud.

  • Totally saw this lady at target the other day. I was reluctant to give her anything because I don’t know anyone from who in garberville uses atm cards!

  • Totally saw this lady at target the other day. I was reluctant to give her anything because I don’t know anyone from who in garberville uses atm cards!

  • WOW! Well on one hand I’m sorry. Sorry she had to lie. Sorry the lie left such a bad feeling behind for those who were trying to be kind.
    But on the other hand I’m really proud of how kind & giving my community is! We all tried to help & that says something really beautiful.

  • WOW! Well on one hand I’m sorry. Sorry she had to lie. Sorry the lie left such a bad feeling behind for those who were trying to be kind.
    But on the other hand I’m really proud of how kind & giving my community is! We all tried to help & that says something really beautiful.

  • There’s and older guy who comes thru town every so often who usually works Rays’ parking lot. Always the same story about needing a part for his van. Then there’s the little round guy on the bicycle who has had all his stuff stolen again and again.

  • There’s and older guy who comes thru town every so often who usually works Rays’ parking lot. Always the same story about needing a part for his van. Then there’s the little round guy on the bicycle who has had all his stuff stolen again and again.

  • When I was at the Chevron gas station in Eureka, the same lady with a dark blue Subaru came up to me and my two daughter while I was pumping gas. She asked, “Are you from SoHum? I recognize you from something.” She then proceeded with her sob story:
    “We came into Eureka to do our shopping, but we ran out of money…we’re not broke or anything, but we just need to get back home.” I agreed to give her $20 for gas (while her “partner” sat in the car) and she assured me it would be in the mail by morning. I never got it back. Then, the other day, I saw her again at Pierson’s and she came up to me asking “how do I know you?” (her way of not getting caught asking twice) I told her that she borrowed $20 from me a couple weeks ago. She said she only had a few dollars and her credit card. I asked if she still had my address. She said she still did. Still no money in the mail.

  • When I was at the Chevron gas station in Eureka, the same lady with a dark blue Subaru came up to me and my two daughter while I was pumping gas. She asked, “Are you from SoHum? I recognize you from something.” She then proceeded with her sob story:
    “We came into Eureka to do our shopping, but we ran out of money…we’re not broke or anything, but we just need to get back home.” I agreed to give her $20 for gas (while her “partner” sat in the car) and she assured me it would be in the mail by morning. I never got it back. Then, the other day, I saw her again at Pierson’s and she came up to me asking “how do I know you?” (her way of not getting caught asking twice) I told her that she borrowed $20 from me a couple weeks ago. She said she only had a few dollars and her credit card. I asked if she still had my address. She said she still did. Still no money in the mail.

  • Wow, this lady is not only an amazingly successful panhandler, she seems to have a real knack for spotting SoHummers.

  • Wow, this lady is not only an amazingly successful panhandler, she seems to have a real knack for spotting SoHummers.

  • I like the son in the story who gave even though he didn’t believe her story. It inspired me and reminded me of some stuff Jesus said…..

  • I like the son in the story who gave even though he didn’t believe her story. It inspired me and reminded me of some stuff Jesus said…..

  • LOL! -i have to congratulate her for being such a good actress and reading her audience so well.

  • LOL! -i have to congratulate her for being such a good actress and reading her audience so well.

  • I gave her $20 too. Said she was out of gas in her Subaru, playing a gig in town, her ATM was not working, would pay me back. I said it was not necessary.. Outside Eureka Natural Foods.

  • I gave her $20 too. Said she was out of gas in her Subaru, playing a gig in town, her ATM was not working, would pay me back. I said it was not necessary.. Outside Eureka Natural Foods.

  • Yesterday my Sister, & I were at Target, with a dear family friend. We’d been at the hospital visiting our Mom & as we got in the car to head back there – Here came Krista. She has scabs all around her mouth now & looks much harsher than the first two times. I don’t think they’re buying food with all that money…. it made me sink into a wierd mix of anger and sadness.

  • Yesterday my Sister, & I were at Target, with a dear family friend. We’d been at the hospital visiting our Mom & as we got in the car to head back there – Here came Krista. She has scabs all around her mouth now & looks much harsher than the first two times. I don’t think they’re buying food with all that money…. it made me sink into a wierd mix of anger and sadness.

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