Viral photo shows Iowa man 'shaming' panhandlers who declined jo - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Viral photo shows Iowa man 'shaming' panhandlers who declined job offer

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IOWA (CBS 8/CNN) - Some would call it tough love. An Iowa man who offered two panhandlers a job is shown in a viral photo holding a sign that reads "Don't give money" after they apparently declined a job offer from him.

Panhandlers can be found several times a week on a street corner in Muscatine, Iowa. Two boys regularly show up at the corner and, after feeling bad for them, Mike Pothoff offered them a job at his business near by.

From a WQAD news interview, Pothoff says, "The only way you can ever succeed in life is ... you just gotta push yourself."

Pothoff told the boys they were hired but they said, "We're not from around here." Pothoff replied, "Well, you're here." According to Pothoff, the boys just smirked at him and turned around.

Over another weekend, the same boys were back at the corner holding signs that read they were broke and hungry. Once again Pothoff offered them a job and the boys declined.

Pothoff decided to make his own sign and join them. His sign read, "Offered these guys a job, they said no. Don't give money."

A picture of Pothoff with his sign alongside the two panhandlers went viral on Facebook.

Pothoff says he doesn't have a problem with panhandlers but wants to make sure they really need the help.

"It upsets me that we have younger kids or people that can work that are doing that," Pothoff says.

It's not the first time that Pothoff has offered a job to a panhandler to only have them turn down the offer.

Pothoff adds, "If they're going to stand out there and hold a sign and ask for money and say they're homeless, I can hold a sign out there saying I offered these guys a job, don't give them money."


Video report by Jenna Morton from WQAD via CNN Video Affiliate Network.

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