I heard of a case where a man would go out and panhandle all day, and then get into his brand new Lexus at the end of the day.
I don't think all panhandlers are in legitimate need of help, some are just very good con artists.
A woman approached me when I was downtown and said "gimme a dollar". I said, "why?". She said, "I want a drink". I said, "OK, how about I buy it from the store and give it to you?" She refused and just demanded the dollar.
That day, she did not get a dollar from me.
I had another woman approach me downtown a year later and she was asking for some money for food. I told her that I didn't have any money (I actually had nothing on me), but I had a sandwich in my bag that I had just bought. I gave her it and she seemed very happy.
If you are a panhandler, and you see me, you will get food and water, but you will not get money.