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Homeless Man on the way to work

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have to park 4 blocks from where I work. Instead of waiting for the bus I put on my walking shoes and hoof it - extra calories burned! Anyway, every day I pass the same homeless man. He asks everyone for change, but he's not overly aggressive and he isn't rude. Now, I have issues about giving money to homeless people, but I will buy them food if they are hungry. It's something my mom taught me when I was little. I was coming up on him the other day and handed him my granola bar. He seemed genuinly thankful and as I walked away I could hear him opening it. I took him another one today. But here's my thing: If I do it every day I'm afraid he'll become dependant, and if I ever move parking places I'll feel guilty. But if I don't do it every day I'm afraid he'll be upset or something, since I do pass him every day. What do you guys think?
post #2 of 16
As long as it didnt bother you financial wise id give him a little something to eat every day...Who knows that may be the only meal he gets
post #3 of 16
I would most likely give him something everyday if I could afford it. Obviously he appreciates it and 1 small act of kindness is worth a mountain of good intentions.(another Mom lesson)
post #4 of 16
No flaming please!

None of us on this site have any problem setting out food for the stray kitties, yet we question the wisdom of handing a fellow human being a granola bar?
post #5 of 16
When i lived in Chicago, I'd pass the same two homeless people in my neighborhood. I couldn't always afford much... but I'd stop and chat if i had the time... a dollar here or there... they appreciated being seen as human beings... one was mentally ill, big lug of a guy... broken glasses, etc... well for his birthday, the shelter bought him new glasses... he was so happy... I noticed them and asked about the new glasses... he was beaming. The other one, a woman, was always nice to me, we'd have a chat when I was on my way out, or back home... they wouldn't beg or be a nuisance... always nice to me and others...

My view is simple... if they're out and out begging, pleading, then no, I tend not to give them anything... with the cardboard signs, if it was humorous, I'd try, if i had it to give... there's one guy here in Portland who has a fabulous sign... makes me laugh every time i read it. I do what I can with what I have... I don't deal with the aggressive beggars...

post #6 of 16
I think it would be really great of you to give him that granola bar everyday

I must be in a really emotional mood today cause this post actually brought tears to my eyes, I think you are a very good-hearted person to do this at all
post #7 of 16
I say sometimes. As long as he is appreciative and you KNOW he's eating what you give him, then by all means please help when you can.

I have been homeless myself, and I refuse to give money to anyone that is homeless, because in most cases that money is used to support drug/alcohol habits.

But if the homeless person is actually eating what you offer, then this shows real need, and I would certainly offer what food I could when I was able to.

Homeless humans are not stray animals, they are PEOPLE, and as long as they are willing to help themselves, or do not misuse the help given to them, then I see no reason to withhold assistance - IF you can afford to assist.
post #8 of 16
I guess I'm pretty hard-hearted about giving to homeless people. I blame it on living without a car in Berkeley for almost three years, where I was asked for money every blessed block I walked every single day.

I was always walking with my daughter who was very little then (we moved away when she was four) and we had quite a few bad and scary encounters with crazy street people there. We had a variety of homeless people try to follow us home, try to take my little girl's drink from her, screaming death threats at us, stepping up into my face to try to start a fight, and screaming obscenities at us. All because we were just walking by.

The only way I would give a homeless person anything would be if I saw the person every day and had some conversations with him/her. If I felt the need was real, I would help, otherwise... no.

I think it is wonderful, though, that you are giving him some food.
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by Brandi View Post
As long as it didnt bother you financial wise id give him a little something to eat every day...Who knows that may be the only meal he gets
Especially when he's eating it.
post #10 of 16
I agree. If he's eating it, and seeming thankful - why not?
post #11 of 16
I would say give him something every day, but I live in downtown Detroit, my thoughts on helping the bums are a little jaded. Give him something occasionally.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the feedback. Sometimes being "too compassionate" can be as much of a curse as a blessing. I am just afraid of becoming attached and one of these days if they move my parking space I may not run into him. I would feel horrible. I guess in the meantime I could take him something. My other thought was "why do I have to give him the healthy granola bar that I was going to eat - why not make it something he would enjoy more?" So then I start thinking about making a sandwich or taking him McDonalds... but that gets really expensive. *sigh* Thanks for the thoughts, though. It's really helped.
post #13 of 16
I'd be inclined to make up a "lunch" for him and take it with me and give it to him everyday.
post #14 of 16
Perhaps once/week you could provide a "meal" for him-it would have to be something that doesn't need refrigeration though. Stores sell pkgs of tuna with cracker for instance or some peanuts -I thinking of nutritious stuff not junk food.
post #15 of 16
I too would give him something daily if I could afford it.. I know several years ago...
this guy was walking up and down portage avenue with a resume..and asking for spare change..I never gave him money but every pay day I would buy him lunch...
the day that he got his first pay check he came looking for me..and bought me lunch...
sometimes it works out..
post #16 of 16
i'd have no problems with giving food - i just refuse to give money, which is what most of them seem to want.
you can get peanut butter crackers really inexpensively [probably much cheaper than a granola bar] & that way you could give him 2 packages each time. at my local grocer, the little debbie crackers [sandwich crackers] are 4 to a sealed pack & $1.19 per package of 8 packs. the bigger pack [6 to a pack] are about $1.50 for a package of 8 packs.
i eat these for breakfast, so i know the prices pretty well. peanuts + wheat [in the crackers] comprise a complete protein, so are better nutrition than they appear.
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