Some So-Called Homeless Are Scammers – A True COVID Story

  • "The lady said "Ma'am I haven't eaten in two days. Will you please help me?" That was enough for me. She touched my heart," says Greshun De Bouse.
  • "We all have heard stories of giving to a so-called homeless person who misuses the funds given, or who becomes enraged if a person offers to buy them a meal rather than give them funds."
  • Advocate Greshun says, "They were trying to scam me and now they were holding my belongings hostage."

We all have had this experience at one time or another-a homeless person walks up to you and asks for money, or perhaps is holding a sign requesting food and/or money.  Some of us choose to give one, the other, or both compassionately, while others choose to pass them by. Who is right or wrong for whatever decision they make is in the eye of the giver or non-giver.

After all, we all have heard stories of giving to a so-called homeless person who misuses the funds given, or who becomes enraged if a person offers to buy them a meal rather than give them funds. Moreover, there are the biggest scammers who study certain individuals and intentionally seek compassionate hearts who may be willing to fund their every need or desire.

Our beloved Greshun De Bouse, like me, is very compassionate and has a tender heart for helping those in need. However, her tender heart landed her in a predicament with two persons who claimed to be homeless, but she now contends tried to scam her out of at least $650. You will want to hone in on Greshun’s story so this won’t happen to you.

Greshun says:

Greshun De Bouse.

I was communicating with different self-reported homeless persons concerning their views on their COVID susceptibility– considering they are predominantly outside for another interview (see other interview) when a black male-Caucasian female in wheelchair duo walked past and waived.  I waived back just in a normal friendly manner, and the guy began shouting “That’s the lady that fed us the other day!” He hurriedly made his way to me with his mate in tow.

If I do something for someone, I do it from the heart, not publicity. I recalled the lady in the wheelchair had approached me three weeks prior as I was about to enter a downtown restaurant to grab lunch while awaiting my dad’s arrival.  The lady said “Ma’am I haven’t eaten in two days. Will you please help me?” That was enough for me. She touched my heart. I went in the restaurant and got enough for her and the gentleman to eat, and made sure the restaurant got their food out before mine. I handed her the food, wished them well, and that was it.

I only told my dad about it because I was so touched by anyone in 2020 in this abundant USA being foodless.  Back to present day, the duo immediately began bombarding me with their needs. They informed me that the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission refused to feed them or allow them entry because of COVID, and they were hungry. I found this quite odd as I am aware of the good work the Rescue Mission does not only in Shreveport-Bossier, but also nationwide. They also informed me the Salvation Army wanted them to pay to stay, and the couldn’t afford it, and would not receive them in because of COVID.  I thought this a bit unorthodox.

They proceeded to inform me that with Hurricane Laura approaching, they could die without food or shelter because their tent had a hole in it. I felt compassion of course. Then the lady stated she had no ID, but would receive it in two weeks, she is disabled but had not applied for disability, could not get food stamps and more until she got an ID. Then they began asking for money-first $229 for an eight-person tent, $280 for a week’s stay at some Livingston motel, $60 for food, and the rest for miscellaneous which amounted to $650. 

Mind you I never told them I did or did not have this amount. They just presumed. I stated I needed to go to the store for a few food items, and they wanted to go. The guy grabbed my bag and would not return it though I asked repeatedly. He placed it aback the lady’s wheelchair and she sat back on it which hindered me from access to it.

The store was close, but the guy said I needed to go to the ATM and get the $650, implying I had to do so to obtain my own bag. Interestingly, considering I was under duress, I probably was unable to use any of the four ATM’s I was forced to go to because of nerves or something.  Nonetheless, the guy told me I would have to use the ATM in the store or ask the cashier for cash back. Upon entering the store, I told them to go on and shop. This way I was able to ask the cashier/MOD for help.

The scamners knew I wouldn’t leave without my belongings so the got carts and filled them up. I asked the cashier if she knew them and she said she had seen them before. I proceeded to tell her how they were trying to scam me and how they were holding my belongings hostage. I begged her to find a reason not to give cash back when the scammers came up and she did so. The scammers had filled their carts to the max and tried to force me to pay for it, again not knowing if I could or not.  I felt a bit safer with the manager there saying she couldn’t give cash back and they had to put all items back.

Lady who allegedly tried to scam Greshun De Bouse.

The guy became aggressive, like two totally different people. Upon exiting the store a guy pulled up, pulled me to the side, and informed me he sees them at all hours while he is working, rolling up and down the streets. I told him I initially had compassion on them being hungry and he said you can help people, but don’t let them scam you. Seeing the sincerity in my eyes, he gave me some cash to give to them, I gave it to the lady, and she refused to even go into the store to purchase at least some food to quell her hunger.

I briefed the guy who gave the money on all that was occurring and I retrieved my property while he was there. They then had the gall to try and meet me later in the dark. I left hoping never to see them again.  The store manager had stated I needed to call the police to get my belongings, but I was able to get them when the other guy pulled up. I also felt they had enough issues being homeless without additional problems.

I told my dad about this and he gave stern words of wisdom to me concerning this matter because my desire to help blinds my reason. I am grateful. On Friday, August 28, 2020, I had the presence of mind to actually contact both the SB Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. Both organization representatives with whom I spoke informed me the scammers were telling untruths about not being fed and such, informed me they were apparently scamming me, and that I should cease all contact with them.

The lady in the wheelchair actually approached again today, which spurred my calls to the RM and SA. The Salvation Army provided me with several resources available to meet any needs these persons might have.  I was told I have done my part.

Wow. What a story.  We love Greshun De Bouse for all she does, and we certainly need her unharmed to continue her brilliant COVID research and equality advocacy among other things.  Let her story be a lesson that there are multiple ways to help those in need, which does not necessarily include you giving them anything.

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