The money that panhandlers get on the street is never going to measure up to a stable income and employment benefits; it is just a stopgap measure for people in a difficult situation.
Homeless people do not want to be homeless. In fact, long-term homelessness lasting for over a year is a relatively rare phenomenon - only 5.6% of the 2 million adults who qualify as homeless on any given day could fit the definition of "chronic homelessness". Those who do often have a mental or physical disability that keeps them from finding work
Additionally, many panhandlers that you see on the street may already have a job, but still do not earn enough to be able to pay rent or afford necessities for their family. In fact, according to a study conducted by Urban Institute, 45% of homeless adults already have real jobs
; just because panhandling may be a primary source of income, does not at all mean it's the only source.