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Do you give out money to people who begg on the streets??? - Page 2

post #31 of 43
P.S. I am extremely shocked that it costs $75 a week to live at the shelter. After I add up the rent and all the bills, it would cost me about the same for my apartment (since hubby pays half).

I live in a two-bedroom apartment (about 1000 sq ft) and the rent is only $375 a month. The shelter fee would actually be greater than my rent.

post #32 of 43
catnapt, I admire and respect you for sharing that part of your life with us. Many of us have been through rough times that reading their posts, you would never think so. I have been in tight financial spots, had an abusive husband, and homeless when I was pregnant, but I have never been in such a position as you have been. (I realize it is not a contest, but I think your post will give many of us some perspective.) I am glad you are in able to be here at TCS. I hope your medical issues are under control and that things get better every day for you.
I just wanted to say that, I will stop hijacking the thread now.
post #33 of 43
Money no. Because there are to many scammers out there. But food, clothing, blankets ect yes. All the time. There is a gentleman who lives on the street not to far from me who took in a dog who was a stray too. he loves that dog takes good care of him.I often bring dog food up there and blankets.
post #34 of 43
I would but since it is not legal I wont. I saw on the news that in salt lake the police were pretending to beg for money and if people gave them some they would give them a ticket.
post #35 of 43
It depends. I have given all the change in my car and purse to a guy who just looked so sad and hungry. He was just sitting at a stop sign holding a sign that said "please help". It really breaks my heart to see these guys. My town has some homelesss people that everyone knows. There is a guy who always wears a big heavy coat even in the 100 degree weather and pushes his buggy around town. He really makes me sad but he never asks for help from anyone.
post #36 of 43
Originally Posted by Krazycatlover View Post
I would but since it is not legal I wont. I saw on the news that in salt lake the police were pretending to beg for money and if people gave them some they would give them a ticket.
That offends me more than I can say. (Not your post, but that it's illegal and the police are ticketing people for giving beggars money.) It's my freakin' money. If I want to share my money with someone less fortunate than myself, that should be my right. If I get scammed by someone only pretending to be in need, well, that's my own fault for being gullible, but I should be able to make that decision for myself. To the best of my knowledge, it's not illegal here; if it were, I'd still do it.

Catnapt raised a lot of really good points (and thank you for sharing your story!). Being able-bodied and employed at a craptastic minimum-wage job does not keep a roof over your head or put food on your table, especially not if your money is going to pay for other things like feeding your children or taking care of medical bills (thank goodness I'm Canadian!). Furthermore, just because you can work doesn't mean someone's going to give you a job. The market is tough, and if you don't have the education (or sometimes, even if you do -- let me tell you how much good a degree in English does a person these days ... ) sometimes the best you can hope for is something menial and low-paying, and more often than not, it isn't enough to pay the bills, especially if you live in a city with a high cost of living (Toronto or Vancouver, anyone?). And what if you can't work, because of physical or mental illness? I have a friend with chronic fatigue syndrome; the only reason he isn't homeless is because he's able to work for his family, and they're aware of his condition and know that he might have to miss days on end because of his illness. Having battled depression, I know it's nigh on impossible to get out of bed some days, much less take care of myself and go in to work. Yes, there are services out there to help people in these situations, but they don't do enough, they don't make enough of a difference (not that I'm saying don't give money to charities, because they really do try their best!), and in many cases, the people who need those services aren't willing to go to them (or don't really believe they need the assistance) -- I really do applaud anyone who's been able to make ends meet by using these services, because I know it's extremely difficult. Likewise, I don't condemn anyone who can't make social services work for them, because I know for a fact that it can be really damn hard.

I understand that people might be afraid of being mugged by a beggar, or don't believe the beggar is actually going to put the money to good use, but it saddens me that those few rotten apples spoil charity for those who really do need it. As someone else said, who are we to decide who is deserving and who is undeserving? I like to think that the food and blankets I've given to people on the street made a difference, and that what little money I have given out was used for a good cause. Maybe I'm being naive, but like I said before, it's my money, and having come perilously close to that situation myself, I consider my donations to be my way of thanking the heavens I never ended up so badly off. Kudos to anyone who did end up worse than me and managed to get back out again.
post #37 of 43
We don't have any homeless people in my town that I've seen, but the number in Fayetteville (the college town) is shocking. Occassionally, we see people on off ramps or intersections with signs asking for money and there are tons of hitchhikers. (I think that has something to do with living on the state line .)

I feel bad about not helping these people and generally lock my car doors and avoid eye contact. My husband will drive on, pick up fast food and deliver it back to them on occasions where there are kids with them, but I'm too leery to do that.

When I visited Seattle, I was shocked at the number of homeless actually "living on the streets" as I have never really seen that before. Alot of them were camped out at ATM vestibules and I remarked that I wouldn't use those ATMs because they are just waiting to steal my money. My companion told me that, in Seattle at least, they sleep there because heat comes up through the grates and keeps them warm.
post #38 of 43
Yes I have in the past.

I work for a nonprofit 2 year housing program that helps homeless people get their life together. Helps them get off their addiction and put them in the right path for a better life.
post #39 of 43
Overall I don't...once you give money to one person, then you have to give money to everyone.

The only time I do is if I'm parking for an event in Detroit. If there is a homeless person there, you pay the parking guy $10 or 20 and you pay the homeless guy an extra $10 or 20. That homeless guy makes sure that your car doesn't get broken into. It's an unwritten rule when you go into the city.
post #40 of 43
I will not give to beggars on the street but do give to homeless shelters and foodbanks.

I had an experience once while walking to BK for lunch a few years ago. I saw a woman with 2 young kids in tow. She was dressed in ragged clothes as was her kids. She held a sign saying she would work for food. I had planned to give her a couple of bucks on my way back to the office but as I passed her, I saw her get into a car. A nice NEW car!!! I didn't even HAVE a car at the time!!! I had to rely on the bus! It didn't look as if she was living out of the car! If she needed money that bad, she should sell the car and buy food!!!

My hubby told me of another incident. A doctor he worked with at the time saw a guy with a sign saying he would work for food. The doctor offered to take him to his home where he had some yardwork. He was going to feed him a hot meal plus give him money. The guy REFUSED saying he made more money holding his sign on the corner!!! His sign was a lie, he wouldn't work at all!!!

For these reasons, I will not give moeny to them. I have bought a burger or hotdog and given it to them. Some were greatful but most just wanted money, not food.
post #41 of 43
I do if they are in a place where I can and if I have the money. I've also been just once approached in a store and a man asked me and my husband if we could buy him some hamburger meat for him cause he just didn't have the money.....he didn't ask for money, just food.

But we had 5 bucks on us and we gave it to him.

I go off of this.....

I have a basis of faith, being a Christian but also there is a song that sticks in my head when I see these people that are in need...

It's by Tommy Shane Steiner, it's called Maybe She's an Angel (you should look up the lyrics).

Sometimes if it's doubtful, I'll say go into 7/11 and buy them a sandwich or something if I can (it's always a matter of if I have the means)...and usually they are grateful.

If they aren't...well I know I did the right thing getting them food....cause if they aren't grateful then you know they just wanted to buy alcohol.
post #42 of 43
Haha I voted for

'If they can hold out a hand for money- they can flip burgers at McDonalds'

I really dont have much sympathy for beggers, at least the ones around where I live. I am scraping to make ends meet myself, I cant afford to give someone money so that they can probably use it to go buy beer. So many of these guys stand on the street and beg for money, and at the end of the day they walk around the corner, get into their CAR and drive away. Lots of them are scammers. I'd rather give money to animal shelters.
post #43 of 43
Originally Posted by marie-p View Post
Just a side note, begging does not necessarily mean homeless. There are many homeless people who refuse to beg, and there are some people who beg and are not technically homeless (although I'm sure the large majority of them are very poor... just not homeless)

Also keep in mind that many homeless people do not want to resort to shelters and charities... sometimes because they want to maintain some independence or because these charities are can be very regimented or judgemental. I'm not saying these people are right or wrong... but keep in mind that when you spend years on the street, every bit of "independence" can be seen as a good thing, even if it takes the form of "free lance" begging rather than taking charity from an organization.

There is a tendency for many people to divide poor people into "deserving" and "undeserving"... with the ones who are deserving being children, sometimes women and the occasional man who seems willing to submit to the rules of the charity. Whether you give to people on the street or to charities, keep that in mind and try your best not to be judgemental about who deserves your money. Sure, everyone would want to help a woman with children who ends up on the street... but the problem is, that often means that single middle age men who end up on the street have little hope of getting much help (aside from the necessities for survival).

I couldn't have said it better myself. Without my ILs we would be homeless and on the streets. Thank God I don't have to beg for money...or food.

My SIL just sent us some clothes from her youngest son (3Ts) for my son cause she knows we are going through some really hard times right now.

You never know the situation. My philosphy for giving has always been, if it's mine to give, and someone needs it more than I do, I give it.

If the individual is on the streets but I am not in a convienient position to roll my window down (Ie: Opposite side of the road)....but if he's there on the return trip....yeah.

Let me also add this story.

My daughter lost her 'big' front tooth a few weeks ago. And the tooth fairy gives 3 dollars for that particular tooth. Plus she had earned 2 dollars by helping around the house.

So my husband took her to KMart to buy herself a toy. There was a man sitting outside the store with a sign, homeless veteran (and around here there are plenty) and that he needed help. Well when they got inside my daughter asked daddy why was the man sitting outside...and he told her.

So she goes in and picks out her toy.....checks out, has some money left over...

On the way out...the man was still there so my daughter asked.

"Daddy, can I give this man my money, he needs it more than I do?"

And my husband said yes.

We should all view some situations from the perspective of a child sometimes, non judgemental and fair.

I have already posted in here once, I know. But this came to mind just now.

And my basis of faith, If I do something of kindness upon another person, not just for show, but because my heart is telling me to....then I will be rewarded eventually.

Plus I believe in Angels, I believe they are among us...and who knows...maybe one of these people you pass by was an angel...but that's going into a faith debate....
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