Warnings and Dangers in Seattle: Beggars / Panhandlers / Homeless
The beautiful port city of Seattle is significant in economic, historical and cultural terms. However, you need to be mindful of the dangers presented by beggars and the homeless in Seattle.
Some are Disrespectful to Women
Most of the homeless beggars in Seattle are alcoholics and drug addicts while some have mental disabilities. Some of the homeless people will hold signs bearing sexually disrespectful messages to women. In some cases, the beggars will approach women directly and address them in a very disrespectful way.
They Can Scam and Rob You
The aggressive panhandlers will approach tourists and demand for money. If you give them some, they will proceed to demand for more. Some of them will have the courage to rob you of your wallet when you hold your wallet to give them money. They will then go ahead and disappear into the crowd. There are also those who disguise themselves as homeless people and will scam tourists. You should keep a close eye on your wallet whenever you come across any strangers on the streets.
Although it is normal for tourists to feel sorry for the homeless and be willing to lend a helping hand, some of these people will start yelling when you do not give them money. They can also hurl insults at visitors who do not yield to their demands for money. In general, Seattle discourages people from giving hand-outs since it is dangerous and does not help the panhandlers.
Be Wary of Public Parks
Today, the homeless and beggars compete for space in public areas such as public benches, squares and parks. While this is not a problem in itself, most of the homeless are perverse and have indecent behavior. Some of these actions make the public areas no longer appropriate for taking children. The antisocial behavior displayed by the beggars, littered spaces, and yelling may make it unsafe to walk with children around the city.
Avoid Walking Around Downtown at Night
The issue of homeless people in Seattle has reached crisis levels since some of the homeless can occasionally become aggressive, especially in areas around University District. You are likely to run into homeless kids who may pose a danger to you. If you are a visitor, you should avoid walking in downtown Seattle at night.
Don’t Look Like a Tourist and Be Respectful
If you plan to travel to Seattle, you should familiarize yourself with the lifestyle and dressing styles of the locals. This will help you to fit in so as to avoid attracting attention. You should also avoid showing your expensive personal effects such as cameras, jewelry, watches and cell phones. In case one of the beggars approaches you, try to respond to their demands politely. Make sure that you are nice while remaining firm.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about dangers presented by beggars and the homeless in Seattle.