Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 28 - When You See a Homeless Person, Do You Give Them Money?

We've all seen them. Homeless people milling around, often times begging for a little change for food. You look at the person in front of you and assess the situation. You try to determine if this person is legit or not.

When presented with this scenario, do you give the person a little change or do you keep walking?

For me, it really depends on the person, the situation we are in and the mood I'm in. There is no other way to explain it. There are times I am compelled to give to the cause then there are times when I just brush them off with a simple wave of the hand. Why do I do that? Why are there some I give to and others I don't? I guess, as I said, it boils down to the person, the situation we are in and the mood I'm in.

I remember one time when I was dating The Analyst and we went to a carry out restaurant. He went in to get us something to eat while I waited in the car. A homeless man approached The Analyst and asked for money for food. Since we were in front of a restaurant he decided to go in and get the gentleman food instead of giving him money. This dude took the food, walked around to the side of the building, dropped the bag on the sidewalk and walked back around to the front to beg for more money. Clearly this guy wanted money for drugs or alcohol and not food. I would never support any one's drug habit. Hell, I don't buy cigarettes for people. How do you know though? How do you know that this person wants the money legitimately or simply to fuel a drug habit?

Do you give to the homeless man or woman that you see in front of you?

11 People saying stuff:

Freckle Face Girl said...

Like you, it just depends. Lately, there have been lots of young moms from Mexico begging in parking lots of stores. They walk up with their kid(s) in strollers and ask for change. Those are harder to refuse.

When I was in Miami, my ex & I walked out of Cheesecake Factory once with our doggie bags. A young couple said they were very hungry and wondered if we'd give them our leftovers. Of course, we did. It makes you feel more like they really need it.

That one girl said...

Hell to the NO!

There are a TON of recourses for the homeless. There is plenty to eat and places to sleep. I've seen WAY too many lie to get money and dump food because it wasn't what they wanted.

I'll give money to an organization that helps the homeless but NEVER to someone on the street begging just to see it go to alcohol. I mean, I could of spent that on my own booze, geeze!

La Cremiere said...

That One Girl is right, ultimately, they have a place to eat and a place to sleep, but sometimes I am more inclined than others, there are three guys that I see regularly on the high street, one day, I'd like to give them a book, an old jumper and a hot soup - I guess we all need money, maybe they need it so they can get a toothbrush and toothpaste for that make-do bedroom where the community puts them up for the night? It would be worth asking them - in any case, neither of them look like junkies, one even has a sign 'not on drugs' he must have been told that before :)

Anonymous said...

As long as I have a single dollar to spare, I always give. My mother always told me that if I had it to give, I should. Hopefully the person is being truthful and they need the $$. If they don't? That's between them and God. My heart and intentions were in the right place.

Catherine said...

I live in an urban area so, no, I don't give money. There are homeless men around the dumpster nearly every time I take out my trash. I don't want the reputation as the woman who hands out cash. Instead, I try to politely acknowledge the person (unless it's the one guy who is always having a conversation with himself!) and then move on my way. I do give money and donations to the homeless mission that is about a mile up the street from me. I'd rather someone who is qualified provide services, as most of the homeless in my area are mentally ill and/or addicts. The last time I was directly asked for money, I was pumping gas. I opened only the driver's side door to grab some change. The entire time, the woman was eyeing my purse on the passenger side. I have no doubt that she was hoping to steal my wallet. I try not to be cynical but when you see it day in and day out, well, I have to protect myself, too.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

Same kind of thing happened to me a guy with a sign that said starving will work for food. I went throught the window at mcdonalds and got a big bag of food and when I went back to give it to him he threw the bag back at me.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

There are just times when I have an intuition that that person needs it. I try not to let it haunt me that he/she may use the money for something more than just food.

Here, where it is really cold right now, I've seen people give warm gloves and scarves to the homeless.

Sandi McBride said...

Mostly I just pray that whatever I can afford is what is needed by the person standing in front of me with that hopeful look. What more can I do?

Tonya said...

nope. I have heard too many times that most of them begging for money are scam artist. Most good people who become homeless don't stay that way because they try and get themselves out of it by trying to find a job. That may sound harsh.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Like you, I follow my gut. I've bought food for people too. I'd be really pissed off if they threw it down though.

Jazzy Cazy said...

I'm like you Tee, sometimes I give, sometimes not. Totally depends on the person and my mood!