A few weeks ago, a San Fernando Valley police officer joined Kevin & Bean in studio to discuss homelessness. The officer estimates that many of Los Angeles’ homeless panhandlers often earn more than $100 per hour.
After hearing this jaw-dropping news, the morning duo decided to put the officer’s theory to the test by sending Johnny Kantrowe, aka Beer Mug, their man-child assistant, into a busy intersection for one hour on a hot summer afternoon. Beer Mug had one advantage going for him; He’s already homeless looking.
How much money did he raise after 60 minutes on the street? Taking into account that he wouldn’t have to shell out any money in taxes, Beer Mug made more per hour than the average working American. Posing as a cheerful homeless person, Beer Mug commanded $14.06 in just one hour. According to the Social Security Department, the average American worker earned a net annual wage, or take-home pay, of $26,363 in 2010. If Beer Mug took on the job of being a homeless panhandler full time, he’d likely take home more than $29,000. This by the way, is more than the 28 year old Kantrowe makes working at KROQ.
Aware that homelessness is indeed a real problem and that many suffer from mental illness and situations beyond their control, Kevin & Bean will match any amount raised by Beer Mug then donate the sum to the Los Angeles Mission. Based on 5th Street in Downtown LA, the non-profit organization has been helping Los Angeles’ homeless for 75 years.
– Jay Tilles, CBS Local