After the last hurricane smashed through the southern end of the state, my town saw a large increase in the number of panhandlers. It seems like now there are people at every corner holding out their hats, or brandishing signs declaring their misfortune. I can hardly go in or out of a store, any store, without being told a sob story and asked for cash. I consider myself charitable, but this is too much even for me. The funny thing is that most of the time when I ask them to work for cash, they are not interested. Then I run into a guy, and I jokingly ask him if he knows how to tune-up a central air conditioner, and he said yes! It turns out he used to be an HVAC technician, and had over five years of experience working on heating and cooling systems. I was blown away, and asked what had happened and why a skilled HVAC tech was living on the streets. He said drinking and drugs got in the way, and no HVAC company would employ him after his track record. I myself had no qualms hiring him to do the work I needed on my furnace, air conditioner, and ductwork. I ended up paying him two hundred bucks for work I would have had to pay an HVAC dealership over a thousand bucks to do. And this guy was happy to get that much money, so we made a deal that I would come find him any time I had HVAC work that needed done.