Most of the people who are panhandlers/beggars are not homeless. Panhandling and begging is their “job,” and I’ve seen the same people doing it in the same spots for years.
They’re often hanging around the ticket machines at the Powell Street BART station, doing just what you said.
I pretty much ignore them, and if they ask for money, I say “Sorry” and keep walking.
“It may be a bit different from what you would do in Puerto Rico ”