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If You See a Homeless Person Asking For Money To You Give Them Any? - Page 2

post #31 of 58
my girls dad and I were homeless for the first few months that I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and a lot of people did give us a few bucks here and there for a place to stay and food, one couple even bought us a bag of grocerys, I have never forgoten that so yes if I see someone I can tell needs the help and I have a few bucks I will give it to them.
post #32 of 58
I can afford it but I do not give money to homeless on the street. I've been known to buy food and hand it to them as I walk/drive by but never money. Here in NC it's especially hard to go anywhere without someone asking for money. Very odd, I would have never thought the problem would be so prevalent here. Every stoplight has its "resident" homeless person. They all wear orange safety vests and the same people with the same signs are out there every day.

One day I was going into a grocery store and there was a homeless man outside asking for money for food. So instead of money I came out and gave him a few cans of soup. He said "What's this for? I wanted money."

Then there have been a few times I've tossed a hamburger or what not to a homeless guy and been thanked. Either way... money = no. Food, clothing = Yes.
post #33 of 58
I used to but not anymore, like someone posted above, back when I was a teenager, my dad offered someone a job, they said they were happier on the street and made more than he would pay them - if they can make more than I do working they don't need my help.

That being said there was an older man who used to sleep outside the train station back home when I commuted from university for work and I always used to get him a coffee to help him stay warm. One day while I was waiting for my mum to pick me up he told me he was finally getting his life sorted any my mum gave him some of my dad's clothes for an interview, he got the job and waited on those steps to try to give me back some money for all those coffees.

So I would buy them a meal / hot drink / can of dog food etc but not give them any money, if they are really in need they will be greatful of the help instead of just wanting the cash IMO
post #34 of 58
Only once I have seen someone begging for money. And it was near a Walmart. My husband was with me and we took the man in Walmart and bought him some items he needed. I will not give money but I will help. If I was alone I would probably not do anything, I would not feel safe.
post #35 of 58
I was homeless with my daughter for close to a year back in 1986 and I answered NO to handing money to a homeless person.

There are plenty of resources for the homeless to seek assistance through for food, clothing and shelter and to get off the streets.

If they are panhandling, then they are strictly looking for money to support a habit, plain and simple.
post #36 of 58
I generally don't give money anymore. I know someone who is a social worker who works with the homeless, and she explained to me once that giving money to panhandlers frequently does more harm than good. They are usually looking for money to support a habit, and giving them money just serves to enable them. She explained that I'm better off giving to a trustworthy organization who helps people who want it, so that's what I do now.

I will give food, or offer to buy someone food if they look like they need it. But frequently they'll refuse it. Several years ago a company I was working for went out of business. We had stacks of McDonald's gift certificates leftover from an old promotion, and I ended up with them. I decided that it would be a good thing to give them out to the homeless, so I took a trip downtown to hand them out. A lot of them refused them...they didn't want food certificates, they wanted money.

Sometimes I will see somebody who looks like they're honest (and not panhandling) and could use a hand, and I will give them money...sometimes without being asked. I also always buy the homeless newspaper from the people selling it.
post #37 of 58
If I have a couple of dollars to spare, I will give it to someone, especially elderly or a veteran. A few years ago I ran across a oler couple with their kitties in the car who had run out of gas money about 100 miles short from home and had a "will work for gas money" sign in their car window, (a beat up out station wagon) trying to shield their kitties and not let them get away from fright. We went into Wal-Mart, bought some drinks, cat food and sandwiches. I made the girl I was riding with stop so I could give it to them, as well as a little money. We were doing pretty well then, and was able to help a little. They really did not want to take it without doing some work for it, but at the time, I had nothing for them to do. The girl I was with called me stupid, but I just felt that sometimes we must remember how blessed we really are. Even some of the poorest Americans are better off than in some places. These people had been to see the birth of their first grandchild, and would have done anything to get there, no matter how tough it was to get back.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catkiki View Post
I said it depends...

I never give money but I have given them a hamburger or something.

Several years ago, I was walking to Burger King for lunch from my job. I saw a woman and 2 little kids dressed in dirty ragged clothes. I went on and ate lunch and was going to give them some money on my way back.

Well, as I was approaching where they were, I observed them getting into a Cadillac!!!! And not a beat up one! I didn't even have a car then.

And another incident my hubby told me about is a Doctor he used to work with approached a guy with a "Will work for food" He offered him a job that would pay him food and money. The guy refused, saying he made more just standing on the corner begging.

People standing on corners begging for money apparently make good money. I once saw a guy standing on a corner with a sign asking for money for food, and behind him parked in the bushes was a newer (probably only a year or two old) Expedition. This guy obviously wasn't really poor, he was just using people for free money.
post #39 of 58
I said No.

I live in New York.. not the city but close enough. Where I work (by a train station) there are dozens of homeless people who I see everyday begging for money for a train ticket. They just go in the deli and buy booze!! Plus, in NYC there are homeless everywhere. It's sad but there are programs for these people to get back on their feet. Some just choose not to because like someone said earlier, they are making more money begging or they are just supporting a habit.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I was homeless with my daughter for close to a year back in 1986 and I answered NO to handing money to a homeless person.

There are plenty of resources for the homeless to seek assistance through for food, clothing and shelter and to get off the streets.

If they are panhandling, then they are strictly looking for money to support a habit, plain and simple.
i also said no... not because i know they're planning to buy drugs, booze, cigs, whatever, but because i can't be certain.
one of my friends bought a bag of groceries, including milk, for a mother requesting $ for food [she had her children alongside]. the mother didn't want the food...

post #41 of 58
No I will not give a money handout. If they want money for food, I'd rather buy a hamburger from McD's then to hand them the money. Most times that money will NOT be spent on food but on alcohol or drugs.
post #42 of 58
I regularly donate to homeless programs, but I do not give money to pan handlers after crunching the numbers. Say the average light cycle is 4 minutes at the interstate exit/corner/whatever. The panhandler gets 3$ per cycle. That's $45 per hour. $360 a day. $1800 a week. They have the potential to make in one month EASILY FOUR times as much as I do breaking my neck as an accountant for a construction company, AND what do you really think the chances are that they pay taxes? You offer to buy half of these guys/gals a sandwich and they're liable to get irate and tell you to shove off, to put it politely.

I'm not going to support drug or alcohol habits. There's alot of people that pan handle for a living, too. Hey, I've thought about quitting my day job.

For the truely homeless people that aren't alcoholics or addicts, there are alot of resources.
post #43 of 58
I can honestly say the two cities I shop/do errands at do not have visible homeless asking for money. I know they exist as I go to the library alot and many homeless esp this time of year spend the day there.
I would not give money but I do donate clothes.household items and extra garden produce.
A couple of yrs ago at my husband's plant the maintenance guys found "a nest" for lack of a better term behind some large shrubs. He works about a block away from a St Vincents and a local food pantry so I'm sure someone was surviving (in the winter!!) behind those shrubs.
post #44 of 58
Thread Starter 
I also run into this problem.......we run out of space in our local shelters for people to stay in. We actually had people die last year before our community stepped up and started opening churches in the winter time. I don't think there are as much help for people in smaller areas. Iowa is a pretty rural place if you think about it.
post #45 of 58
I don't think I've ever been asked for money by a homeless person but if I were asked and had cash on me I would.
post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post

And as for jobs... well, I myself have been unable to work on any regular basis for a few years now. So there but for grace go I. If not for my parents, I truly don't know what might have happened to me by now. I could easily be one of those people on the street...
Carol, I don't think anyone here was implying that they wouldn't help out someone who can't work, but who won't. I know I wasn't, anyway. NOT being able to work and not WANTING to work are two different things.

Just my opinion..

I myself have been homeless (looong story), but I never went begging for money. I did what most people would do - did something about it. It wasn't easy, and it was a horrifying experience. But the resources to get back on your feet ARE available, if you just do something about it. I'm not saying I'm "better" than anyone else, b/c I'm not. But I guess I just don't have very much pity for someone who isn't willing to at least try, when there is always a way to improve your own situation. Almost everyone runs into a difficult situation at one point in their lives, and needs a helping hand. But actually needing help and taking advantage of others who are trying to help you is in a different ballpark. I don't have much sympathy for people who take advantage of someone else's good nature...

~KK~
post #47 of 58
I generally don't, but I do offer to buy the people a meal instead. More times that not it's left a bad taste in my mouth (not literally of course...). A number of times the person has said just to give them the money and they'll buy the food themselves - we always refuse ad say either we buy them a meal or a few groceries, at which the person has gotten annoyed and said not to worry.

In New York, a woman approached us and asked if we could spare some change for some food. It was freezing cold and there was a corner store nearby so we said we'd buy her some food. She said thanks so much and all she wanted was a can of tinned soup to get by. We felt pretty good until we got there and she got numerous tins of things and said oh and maybe some *whatever* as well - she was completely taking us for a ride. We said "no that's enough for lunch for you". We got to the counter and she said to the cashier that she'd just get a can of beer as well and a small pack of smokes. We said no, absolutely not. She looked at us as pitifully as she could and said but she's had a bad week and she needs it to make her feel better or something like that. We were so mad. We said she could have the tins of food that she originally said she needed and that was it.

Unfortunately, it's not often we offer to buy a homeless person the food they claim to need, and they actually accept it and appreciate it.
post #48 of 58
Yes, I usually do Since I consider myself a Christian, I truly feel that if someone (or some animal in need) comes across my path, then God wants me to help out. If they choose to buy drugs or booze from a blessing that God sent them, thru me, well, that's their lookout - they have to account for it, when they go to cross RB.
On the note of karma, I met a man at a rest area trying to panhandle enough money for a fuel pump & fuel to get to Lone Pine. There were plenty of obviously well-to-do tourists, but no one was helping. I had 2 $10 bills; I need at least $10 to make it to work that nite, so I gave him 1 (he at first refused, cuz he saw that I had 2 kids, a cat & a dog with me, and he didn't want to take from them ). My first table at work told me to keep the change as my tip - it was $78 profit!!!! Hurray for karma So, I remember that time as an example of God knowing what he was doing
post #49 of 58
No, I will not, I will buy them food, but that's it, no cash.

My sister was a street person, I might still have her today if people had fed her instead of giving her money.
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
My sister was a street person, I might still have her today if people had fed her instead of giving her money.
How terrible! I'm so sorry you lost your sister, Arlyn.
post #51 of 58
Sometimes. I don't usually carry much cash - just a few bucks at most. If I have a little, I give it up.

For me, it's the right thing to do. Maybe the money will be abused; I'm sure sometimes it is, but karma dictates that I have compassion and help where I can.
post #52 of 58
I like to help but I don't give money to drunks I will give them food or buy them a ticket if thats what they need but I wont help them get drunk I get aproched a lot on my way home from work
post #53 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme View Post
Yes, I usually do Since I consider myself a Christian, I truly feel that if someone (or some animal in need) comes across my path, then God wants me to help out. If they choose to buy drugs or booze from a blessing that God sent them, thru me, well, that's their lookout - they have to account for it, when they go to cross RB.
On the note of karma, I met a man at a rest area trying to panhandle enough money for a fuel pump & fuel to get to Lone Pine. There were plenty of obviously well-to-do tourists, but no one was helping. I had 2 $10 bills; I need at least $10 to make it to work that nite, so I gave him 1 (he at first refused, cuz he saw that I had 2 kids, a cat & a dog with me, and he didn't want to take from them ). My first table at work told me to keep the change as my tip - it was $78 profit!!!! Hurray for karma So, I remember that time as an example of God knowing what he was doing

What a wonderful story. I like you, believe in Karma! It always seems to pay me back for both my selfishness, and my generosity. I'm of no religion, but I do believe in giving when I can, and helping when I am needed.

I stopped to help someone who really needed help because they were wheelchair bound. They didn't ask for help, I just got up and helped them. About a week later I had made the mistake of leaving my lights on. When I went out to my car it was dead and I was the last person to get in my car. A guy down a few parking spots just happened to look over and notice I was having trouble as he was pulling out. He drove over and asked if I needed help. I think that was my Karma paying me back and I was SO thankful.
post #54 of 58
Working in Toronto, you literally cannot walk one block without being harrassed by a panhandler. It's getting out of hand! Last night a gentlemen (who was wearing a brand new Columbia ski coat and talking on his cellphone) asked me for money. I asked him "if you're homeless and broke, how could you afford a cell phone? Having one means that you have $ to pay the bill as well as probably having a residence address in which the bills are sent." To which he replied, "Lady, I probably make more $ than you do in a day and I don't have to go into an office and actually work."

Then, this morning I hear that the "homeless coalition" of Toronto is planning a massive panhandler protest downtown today in which the group is asking all homeless people to go into our downtown underground path system and harrass people until they give them money.

And, they wonder why Torontonians want panhandlers taken off the street!
post #55 of 58
I am glad I stayed home today then, the panhandlers outside Union Station are usually enough for me without seeing them the whole way up the PATH
post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I am glad I stayed home today then, the panhandlers outside Union Station are usually enough for me without seeing them the whole way up the PATH
The older white-haired gentlemen who stands across from Union Stn (at north west corner of Bay & Front) and holds a handmade sign is the one with the cell phone (although I haven't seen him wear his designer clothes in the last 2 weeks). He may seem very polite, until you ask him how he can afford a cell phone.
post #57 of 58
I go the other way, Avenue and Front then up Avenue, there is probably 5 that I see every time who have expensive Nikes etc on sitting there begging. There is one who when you say no or ignore him chases you and says that if it wasn't for his people there wouldn't be a Canada and so it is your duty to give him money.
post #58 of 58
There are scammers and there are people in need. There are the mentally ill and the dope addicts. The homeless, the beggars, the people in need are like everything else in life - there are all kinds.

We give to charity, and we give money to people asking for it. We also give food, or meals, or clothes.

One year Gary picked up two hitchhikers with a dog - got to talking to them - and ended up getting them a hotel room, we bought them clothes, got them Doc appointments, and got him out of some legal trouble, and he ended up in a Ford mechanic training program.

His girlfriend, it turned out, was mentally ill and had wealthy parents in NJ who simply turned her out because she was a drug addict, and in the end we weren't able to help her.

But we adopted a homeless heroin addict - who turned out was very badly abused as a child and turned into a dope addict at a very early age and fell out of the foster system.

60% of the homeless in NYC are children that "fell out" of the foster system.

It is not my place to judge what people want or need or why they are in the position they are in or why they "choose" to beg over working. If we hadn't adopted our daughter, she'd still be out on the street begging for dope. And being in that position isn't one she chose to begin with. But it's all she knew - and in another 10 years, she'd be that person that people wonder "why doesn't she get a job?" Because she wasn't raised by people with that mentality and doesn't know any better, was sold into prostitution by her family who made her a dope addict.

So it's not my place to judge. Call me an enabler. Life can be a terrible place to live.

There but for the grace of God.....

Laurie
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