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Panhandler or parking attendant?

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The Columbus Dispatch wrotePanhandler or parking attendant?

Homeless upset customers, shop owners say

Monday, September 10, 2007

By Mark Ferenchik and David Conrad

The men who hang around the N. High Street lots aren’t attendants, Short North merchants complain. They’re panhandlers. Raymond Allen prefers the job title “homeless valet.”

Energetic, chatty and polite, Allen, 56, sported a green baseball cap as he directed restaurant customers and other visitors to open spots in a city lot Wednesday evening.

He said he likes to be helpful. Close to 6 p.m., he reminds them not to feed the meter too much because it will soon be free for the evening. “I don’t scare people. People know who I am,” he said. He makes about $20 a night in tips.

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