Besides the fact that they are obviously having a shittier time of it than you are, you may want to be nice to panhandlers for reasons beyond altruism. Like if you don't want lose an eye. Because an encounter can go from asking for change to that a lot quicker than you would think.
Panhandlers Juan Quiste, 20, and Almagro Santiago, 25, stopped a man on Wilson Avenue near Menahan Street at about 5 a.m. last Sunday in Bushwick to ask him to buy them a beer. The man refused, and allegedly told them that he had a job and they should get one, too. The pair did not appreciate the man's advice, beat him mercilessly, and stabbed him in the eye. A third party who wandered by broke up the fight, and the two men were caught by police soon after. The man is in stable condition, but may lose his sight in his left eye. This does prove that some panhandlers are definitely not faking it.