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56 7

Do you give to beggars?

If yes, why?

If no, why not?

If only to certain beggars, why those beggars and not others?

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Jnei 8 Mar 23

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2

Near where I live by the freeway there are always people standing out with a sign, homeless etc. I don't. I always think are they are going to buy booze or drugs with the days money. Now I understand the concept it's not my business, just give but its my money. Going and buying crappy fast food is no better. They need to go to Health and Human Services and get help. They can get them help.

16

Yes. Because I've been there.

It's the only charity I trust. Buy someone a meal or bus ticket. Many offer to do odd jobs.

13

I do - just small change in most cases and if they then go and spend it on alcohol or heroin, at least they got the money given to them rather than having to carry out a (possibly violent) crime to feed their addiction.

I give more to female beggars. Life on the streets is tough, but it's a whole lot tougher if you're a woman.

Jnei Level 8 Mar 23, 2018

I've donated condoms to a local group that gives them to homeless women.

11

It depends.I was at a pet store last week and a begger was out side with his dog. I did not trust the begger but felt sorry for the dog and gave the guy a whole case of caned dog food.

11

This is a hard question for me and I am conflicted.
I know there are professional panhandlers.
I know how easy it is to lose everything.
I know mentally ill people walk the streets.
There isn't a black or white answer.
My son suffers from addiction and he's in another state. I haven't seen him in 3 years. When I see someone on the corner with their cardboard sign, I think of him.

Best answer so far. I hope things get better for your sun.

I'm sorry to hear that, Gloria. I can't imagine the pain of that. 😟

11

The majority of "beggers" on the streets are homeless veterans and/or those with mental illness. Yes, I give unless it's become known that they are professional peddlers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 39,471 veterans are homeless (in the U.S.) on any given night.

10

I do. There is a homeless man that I see around town and when he gets low on insulin he holds a sign up that says "need help paying for meds". I always try to give him money when I see that he's low on medication. It doesn't bother me that some people would try and abuse my kindness. I gave for the right reasons and my conscience is clear. If someone is pretending to be in need then that's something they will have to live with.

10

Not always. But I figure if the change in my pocket is gonna break me, I've got bigger problems, so what's the harm? I've also taken a hot meal to a group living under a parking garage when it was ridiculously cold outside. Least I could do.

That is a different story, if I see a kid in need I would do the same.

8

I donate food, clothing and household items to people I know in town who need it.

That's a lovely and very wise way to go about it!

8

We call them panhandlers in the US. I don't donate because it's impossible to tell those legitimately in need from those who are unwilling to help themselves. I have seen professional panhandling take place where people were dropped off at strategic locations by a large van and placed. Really?

There was a man in Odessa who drove a new Corvette to panhandle. He parked around the corner.

@MrLizard then only give food

8

I would not use the word "beggars" but someone down and out, needing assistance or help.

In the UK, it's widely used and not considered pejorative.

@Jnei The US is not a classless society in reality, so "labeling" is frowned upon. That may seem like an oxymoron, but It's not.

6

I live in a small town and haven't seen someone asking/needing money since moving here from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in 1986. There we saw them often, usually along the beach. We have homeless who have a place to go to sleep at night, but they cull the dumpsters (garbage bins) for things to sell. The Salvation Army serves lunch daily and some churches serve dinners. The resident Pastor at our local college offers a dinner every Monday night during Fall and Winter semesters for anyone who feels like joining for religious fellowship. We don't see many who have nothing and nowhere to go, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

6

If I have loose change in my pocket I'll sometimes donate that if the person asking isn't obnoxious in any way.

6

No, I live in a city with panhandlers on every corner of most major intersections, and I have seen too many of them ham it up with limps and other visible signs of distress that miracously disappear once they are away from the intersection and even sometimes if it means they will miss the greenback flapping out the window.

My city also has programs and shelters that provide meals and assistance to get out of whatever situation has put them there. I prefer to donate to those organizations and programs.

Sir, I understand your mistrust, and your feelings that many of the panhandlers might be conning you. Might I point out that begging, no matter what one's motives are, is a thoroughly dehumanizing process to endure. You are open to various things-being harassed by law enforcement (perhaps even arrested in cities with ordinances against such things), the open disdain and revulsion of many of the passers-by (sometimes people even roll down their windows to shout "Get a job!", as if flipping burgers was the answer to all of life's ills), having things thrown at you, and the very real possibility that you will stand on a street-corner for hours and maybe have only a dollar or two (or a pound or two, for you across the pond) to show for it.

And I know this, because I have BEEN one of those people, and I am no different inside than the apparently upstanding citizen I am now. Life on the street is a constant hustle-not to get rich, but merely to survive. So-let's talk shelters-hey, they're great if you're single. If you're married, well, that's a different story. Nope, no sexytime with the wife on the church's (or city's) dime. Some of the assistance programs really DO help, but they are often overwhelmed, understaffed, and underfunded. Because most folks think it's not their problem. And a lot of those assistance programs have various restrictions-by faith, by income level, by how much family you have, or if you're a vet or not. Some people just fall through the cracks, and that's their tough luck.

I'm not saying it's up to each of us to change the world. We can't, even if we desired to. We can help those that fate or chance bring before us. And we can act for good, or not. Our choice.

@Deveno While I agree with everything you said, it does not change the fact that it is extremely difficult in the short time of a traffic light to make a decision on whether someone is actually honest or not. Thus my solution of donating what time and money I can to non-faith based programs that help in situations like this, it is the only way I can ensure my money actually does some good.

@icolan Sometimes, our choices are not easy ones. I appreciate your candor in your reply.

5

I give out dog food to those with dogs obviously. I always carry food in my trunk, along with toothpaste and stuff for the human 🙂

5

I’m pretty much broke because of, well, capitalism. I carry a case, or at least several bottles, of water in the passenger compartment of our work truck. When we hit a red light in Houston, especially in the spring and summer, I’ll give them a bottle or two. Costs me less and it’s a fundamental need, especially in the miserable, humid, mosquito infested, drenching, lingering, inescapable misery that is the Houston area all times from a few weeks before the vernal equinox until several weeks after the autumnal equinox. Sucks here outside.

5

I do not judge. Need is need.

5

If somebody has the fortitude to stand by the stop sign on a xway off-ramp in cold rainy weather they must really need it. I give a buck or so.

5

Not money, but my daughter has friends who volunteer at a homeless shelter. Occasionally she asks me to donate something that is urgently needed by someone there, shoes, coat, whatever.

JimG Level 8 Mar 23, 2018
5

I live in a country with an extremely generous welfare system, we have free medical, we have lots of emergency assistance programs, I work on many of them myself. I do not believe it is good to feed peoples habits.

5

Usually tickets to public transportation or a meal.

4

Yes, when I can afford it. Sometimes I really feel bad when I do not have anything to give.
I just feel pity for them. I think nobody should be brought to begging for survival.
And I consider beggars a major sign that something is wrong with society...

4

I keep ziploc bags in my car. Each bag has a pair of sox, several individually wrapped personal wipes, a mylar blanket, and $5.00. I give them out whenever I see someone with a sign along the road where it is safe for me to hand it out. I've gone around the block to hand it out. Why? Because I don't judge and because I can. I also have a stack of $5s in my car to hand out as needed. I might make a difference, I might not. But I tried.

That's such a great idea.

4

Sometimes I do. It makes me feel good to do acts of kindness and acts of consideration for those who cannot fend for themselves.

You are better then me. I just can't understand why people can't get to health and human services and get emergency services. There are case managers to help.

4

I give to beggars when I have the means to do it. I am poverty stricken myself, so I do not have much to offer at times.

4

I live in a mecca of the West, a hotbed of tolerance in the midst of the bibibble belt.
I expect to be homeless one day due to persecution of baby boomers. I try to make friends for when I join them.

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