Jump to content
slycooper

Giving Money to the Homeless

  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Someone who appears homeless is asking for money on the streets, do you (in general)...

    • Ignore them as you walk past
    • Try to avoid them by walking to the other side of the road etc
      0
    • Give them some/all of the money you have on you where possible
    • Offer to buy them something to eat or drink or something else they may need
    • Sit down and chat with them
    • Other (please specify)
    • Acknowledge them but do not offer them anything


Recommended Posts

I've made a poll for this for the sake of it but I think really this requires qualitative answers due to the variety of reasons and circumstances which influence what you do. So if you can post i'd appreciate it.

 

But enough nattering on, a part from the basics in the poll does anything influence your decision on who to help or not (evidence of MH problems, smells of alcohol/drugs, has a physical disability, is man/woman or young/an older person etc)? Do you have any personal experience which has shaped how you respond? Does someone begging for money make you feel uncomfortable or anxious as you go by and if so does this influence your response to them? I know someone who always gives to those who seem to talk to him directly and not otherwise as he's a socially awkward lil muffin and is scared they'll yell at him if he ignores them.
 

 If you voted in the answers that mean you don't give: Do you disagree with handing out money or do you avoid it in case they are swindling you or will spend it on something you don't want your money to be used towards? Do you in fact oppose the notion of begging for money or don't due to current finance. Is there anything you do instead or a reason that would make you consider it?

 

 Alternatively if you do give money or food, do you feel obligated to acknowledge them and give something to help even if you don't want to? What motivates you to give aid? Do you give when possible or base it on an evaluation over the neediness or worthiness of the person? Is there a certain amount you give over or under - As in personally I don't like to give a couple of pennies as it feel like i'm just offloading change on them but too much and I do have a nagging doubt that maybe it won't get used well.

 

Don't feel you have to answer any/all of them, it's just something to help when giving a reasoning if you wish too.

 

.. Also I recognise the ridiculous amount of question marks in this post. Brevity or style aint my strong suit.

 

 

Edit: Whoops, forgot an option. Knew that list looked too short... 

 

 

Edited by slycooper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will always greet them and acknowledge them. I will always offer them food if I was about to get food for myself. If time permits, I will do so regardless of my current errand. Food, clothes, or any such necessities are things that I will provide.

I do not give money simply because I have no idea if it would actually be helping them or not.

I feel obliged to do so because I feel as though it is a part of human nature. I want to do it because it makes me happy, because it is an honorable choice that I have made. I feel like those are the only real judges of character and the source of a permanent happiness.

Edited by afriendlyatheist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I know someone who always gives to those who seem to talk to him directly and not otherwise as he's a socially awkward lil muffin and is scared they'll yell at him if he ignores them.

 

 

^ Exactly me...It makes me really uncomfortable if anyone just randomly talks to me on the street...and people asking me to do things makes me even more uncomfortable and awkward....I once (Don`t hate me!) was asked if I could spare food by this...I dont even know...I`ve always just been like..."That was totally God" He was older and his mouth did not seem to match his words at all...Like there was a delay or anything...But back to the story...So I was in the car waiting for my mom to come out of the store and I was eating foods...so he came up to me..knocked on the window and asked for food...It really freaked me out and I got super awkward and confused...So I grabbed the first thing in sight and gave it to him..............................................................A single chicken nugget from McDonalds......even though we had like...10 sandwiches in the car beside the nuggets.....He happily ate it and said thanks and walked off, I got super confused and kept playing it in my head over and over...then got out and started looking around for him but I couldn`t see him anywhere so I got back in the car and locked the doors til my mom came out >.< ....Also..Did I mention it was raining?   :baghead:

Edited by Kasa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anything influence your decision on who to help or not (evidence of MH problems, smells of alcohol/drugs, has a physical disability, is man/woman or young/an older person etc)? I always try to give whatever I can no matter the person(s). If they want food, money, beer, a pack of cigs, whatever it is, I'll do my best to help. The only thing I can't do is give them rides because of my personal safety, but money for a taxi or bus is doable.

 

Do you have any personal experience which has shaped how you respond? Like actually being homeless? No. I've never been homeless, but I don't think it would change my mind either way. My mother used to give if she could, so I do the same. I did have a few friends who were homeless. They would disappear for months at a time and finally pop back up to let me know where they had been. I wish I had been a little more open about being able to help them. No need for anyone to resort to living on the streets.

 

Does someone begging for money make you feel uncomfortable or anxious as you go by and if so does this influence your response to them? The only time it makes me anxious is when I don't have anything on me to give. These days, I usually travel with plastic. I never even have parking meter change to give anyone. Makes me feel poopy. ;-;

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose I'm the jerk who doesn't care for humanity. :P I don't think that homelessness is "their own fault" or anything like that. The rationalization I have is that it increases incentives for people to remain dependent on begging, although I admit there's many flaws with that. :P

I actually used to know a homeless man for a while, and from what I could tell, he was a nice guy who had some crappy circumstances as well as a few bad decisions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll buy them, or give them food (I like to keep nummies in my car!) but I won't give them for than a dollar or two outright. If they've a drug issue, that means I'm enabling them. But, givin' them food? I have done before and I WILL do again.


i'm gonna go buy some Twinkies for Hobos now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where I live l, as crazy as it sounds it's almost discouraged to give money to the poor. Food is fine, but never money. Why? It's how multiple Human Trafficking rings in the area work. Pose as a homeless person, actually filthy rich. So you can never be too careful here, food is fine but money, any amount of it, isnt exactly a smart move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have given out food, water, clothing, recovery information, but never money. I don't know if I am enabling their addictions, or what. Being "other-centric" is pivotal to the Christian walk, and I fully believe in helping others by giving essentials (food, water), not financial gain. Too much of a risk of enabling their sinful habits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I should probably post myself ^_^ 

 

I do try and offer to buy them something when I can but if there's no shops around or i'm busy I will admittedly give them spare  change. However living in such a big city, one walk to the centre can mean seeing up to 20 homeless people at which point I am sadly too selfish to start trying to help as two lots of food is nearly a day's amount. At which point I will either acknowledge them but walk on or distance myself when it really starts to get to me a bit. As for chatting, I only really do it when i'm volunteering as it comes to me much more natural then as it feels like i'm there with more of a purpose.

 

As to influence, if I see a bunch of people ignoring them then i'll often give like once there was a man selling Big Issue outside a store with no one making eye contact so I gave him a fair bit and he was really lovely about it. Also I know a few through volunteering with the Uni so there's some I feel more confident knowing that if I did give money, they would use it for what they need. Generally I do only give change if at all, the one exception being a man and woman who needed a tenner to get into a shelter over winter so I managed to find a cash machine (just my luck that the two close ones were all broken) - but funnily enough I saw him again about 5 months later and he remembered me and talked about it and how he was getting a job soon. 'Twas a lovely man. 

 

 You know come to think of it maybe it's an idea to carry food with me so I can do it more readily. Huh, this thread has value after all <3

 

 

^ Exactly me...It makes me really uncomfortable if anyone just randomly talks to me on the street...and people asking me to do things makes me even more uncomfortable and awkward....I once (Don`t hate me!) was asked if I could spare food by this...I dont even know...I`ve always just been like..."That was totally God" He was older and his mouth did not seem to match his words at all...Like there was a delay or anything...But back to the story...So I was in the car waiting for my mom to come out of the store and I was eating foods...so he came up to me..knocked on the window and asked for food...It really freaked me out and I got super awkward and confused...So I grabbed the first thing in sight and gave it to him..............................................................A single chicken nugget from McDonalds......even though we had like...10 sandwiches in the car beside the nuggets.....He happily ate it and said thanks and walked off, I got super confused and kept playing it in my head over and over...then got out and started looking around for him but I couldn`t see him anywhere so I got back in the car and locked the doors til my mom came out >.< ....Also..Did I mention it was raining?   :baghead:

 

 

How very Welcome to Nightvale :P

 

I suppose I'm the jerk who doesn't care for humanity. :P I don't think that homelessness is "their own fault" or anything like that. The rationalization I have is that it increases incentives for people to remain dependent on begging, although I admit there's many flaws with that. :P

I actually used to know a homeless man for a while, and from what I could tell, he was a nice guy who had some crappy circumstances as well as a few bad decisions.

 

It's interesting you say that, I was talking to one of the homeless project leaders at uni and they were talking about how some of them don't have any motivation to join 'normal society' and that they may not find that is what works for them anyway, but if that's what they want then who are we to force them. Admittedly some may find that promoting laziness but I quite like her c'est la live approach to it that just said to support them if that's what they wished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a quick story: At our local Menards, there's this guy that I saw that held a sign that said "help please - hungry." There were two things wrong with this. 1.) He was smoking his cigarettes while he was holding the sign. If you're so hungry to the point of needing to beg, drop the cigs and buy off the dollar menu. 2.) He looked as if he weighed over 350 pounds. He looked well fed to me.

 

Aside from that random story, it honestly depends on the situation. I've seen scam artists who bring their babies in baby carriers along to try to make people feel sorry for them, only to be found out by police. So it's truly hard to know if they're panhandling just because it makes good money or not (seriously, in big cities some panhandlers make up to/over 100k a year. Stanley Roberts did a story calling them out on this). I typically just buy some food at a close by restaurant and then drive past them again to give it to them. I will never give money to a homeless person, most of them use it for drugs and alcohol. And all the other liars ruined it for the few genuine ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×