July 31st 2007 / 1 minute to read


Do you ever give anything to the homeless (money, food, etc) ? I never have, partly because I don’t trust that some of them are actually homeless, partly because some can be very rude, although sometimes I feel like by not helping that I will somehow miss the chance to help someone that truly needs it. I never know what the right choice is for that situation.

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I feel bad for not giving homeless people money, but some cannot be trusted.

Reply to Sarah

I almost always do simply because I feel like I never know what someone’s situation is and if they’re lying – they have to answer for it and not me.

Reply to C

If I’ve got it, I try to give it. But then again, I don’t encounter this on a regular basis; maybe it’s different when it’s a daily thing. Overall, I believe that helping others is one of my basic duties as a human being. Soon I’ll be a student again and I’ll have much less available cash, so how will I help then?

Oddly enough, two other things I’ve seen this morning that address this issue:

I’m sure some people will argue that some people will merely use the money for booze or drugs. I really am not bothered at all by that; if that is what someone needs in order to get through his or her day, that is ok by me. It’s not my right to decide what someone does with the dollar I have given—at that point, it’s no longer mine.

Reply to Tasha

I keep granola bars in my bag and give those instead.  I know what’s going to happen with food, I don’t know what’s going to happen with money.  I have a friend that keep non perishable food in his trunk and gives that out.


It seems a little silly to say this, but I’m somewhat scared of homeless people. I had one run after me once, just begging the hell out of me.. It was somewhat terrifying to be chased by someone so desperate…

It is a really heartbreaking photo, though. As much as I hate to ignore homeless people, sometimes you just have to… I’d much rather keep my few dollars than know they’re going to booze or crack.

Reply to Sarah

We give something when we have something to give. My mister has back tracked 20 minutes to find a homeless man he saw on the side of the road just to give him some cash.

Whether they are homeless or not, we figure we’re doing our part to help in some way and bring some good karma our way. Of course, the veteran signs break my heart, but living the military life, it’s easy to see why. :)

Reply to nikki

i always give the change in my pocket. like others said
we can never be sure what the person will do with the money.
i can give it to them and feel good about myself…isn’t that what
volunteering and giving truelly is…a selfish act?

Reply to john

I have a few times – the most recent really turned me off to it.  I gave the lady the cash I had on me (I don’t carry much, opting to use my debit card for the most part) – ended up being 8 bucks.  She then asked if I would go to an ATM to get her more money.  Um, what? No.

Reply to Ally

No, I never do. Ever. I don’t believe in it. Everyone can turn their life around, even the homeless. The fact that they’re sitting there with a sign asking for money instead of getting out there and trying to find work, regardless of how small a job, just says to me that they are too lazy. If I want to help the less fortunate, I donate to the shelters and other establishments in town.

I will say this, though. I once was driving down the road and saw a homeless man on the side of the street with a sign that read, “Will work for beer.” Not kidding. I was very tempted to give him every dime I had on me at the time, just for being honest about it. LOL!

Reply to Maevyn

sometimes i do and sometimes i dont. once a pandhandler threaten to beat me up. i called the cops on this guy and all they did was pick up him up, drive him around the block, then drop him off at the same place they found him! soon they will be passing a law in MN against pandhandlers being agressive. once i was in walmart and a guy came up to me, had a little note saying he was deaf and needed money to buy his son diapers, he had a pic of his kid too. kinda iffy but i gave him the $5 in my purse cuz whats five dollars when i was about to spend a hundred in that store? the dudes that pandhandle on the corners of the exists off the highway go right up to the cars at the stop light, not cool.

Reply to angela

Once in Oakland Ca., a buddy of mine and I got approached by a guy who claimed to be a vietnam vet, homeless…yada yada.  Said he was a former army guy.

Next night…same clown approaches this time claims he is a former navy helicopter pilot…didnt even remember that he had approached us less than 24 hours previously.  I reminded him of the story and told him to get the fuck out of my face.

I had the same experience as another commenter on “beer”.  In downtown Atlanta I saw a relatively young healthy black guy sitting on the side of the road with a sign that said “Why lie?  I want a beer!”.  I gave the guy 5 bucks just for the chuckle and the honesty!

For the most part I try to help the clearly infirmed, but when you see somebody who is clean shaven, in clean clothes, and a few pounds overweight on the same block every day, that guy needs to get a J.O.B…and quit being a bum.

Reply to Eric

Generally, I do not give money to people begging because I just don’t trust most of them. I never, ever buy a Big Issue magazine from ‘homeless’ people (the only people allowed to sell them) because I know that you can buy these magazines even if you are not homeless, if you know the right people. They make

Reply to Melissa

I used to live in the heart of downtown Scranton. It isn’t a big city, but we have our fair share of the homeless. I just didn’t realize that until I had moved into the busiest part of the city. I would try to walk outside and my door would be stuck because there would be someone sleeping in front of it. I’d walk down the street and be approached by at least 3-5 homeless people every time, to and from work, etc. However, I did talk to one man a few times. He was awesome and he had thick framed green glasses that were scratched and looked like 1.) they were from the 60’s and 2.) something that Elton John would wear. I never gave him money, but he never asked for it. He never asked for anything, but I would walk to work and see him, so I started making sandwiches and giving them to him on my way to work. He would tell me about Vietnam, in explicit detail, about his family and how they wanted nothing to do with him. But he never told me why. After maybe a few weeks, I just didn’t see him anymore. I still don’t know what happened to him.

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