Help for the Homeless: Do you give money to sign holders?

United States
January 25, 2007 11:30am CST
Around here you see people, moslyt guys, on street corners holding signs asking for money. When I was out and about more often, I would set aside $5.00 each month and watch for someone who looked interesting. If I happened to be in the right spot in traffic, I would give them the $5.00 hoping they would just go buy whatever they wanted. A friend of mine once got really bent when I did this. She went into this rant about them buying drugs or alcohol and I was wasting my money. I told her that I found my little project rather entertaining when I thought about how all the beggar's buddies would think him quite thte little huckster in scoring a whole $5.00 in one fell swoop and I thought they deserved to have whatever they wanted because being homeless is tough. When you see a beggar, do you give them money and hope they have a good time with it or do you get angry at the thought of their getting booze or drugs with the money?
9 people like this
58 responses
@AmbiePam (51157)
• United States
25 Jan 07
News channels have done undercover investigations and shown that a lot of men and women drive their car a couple blocks away from where they plan to appeal for money, and when their day of begging is done they walk a couple blocks back to their vehicle and go home. When investigators have followed the people in question home, they have found people perfectly capable people living in perfectly nice houses, although none more than middle class (gasp, middle class, how horrid). I will not give anyone money, but I will ask them what they want from the local fast food restaurant. If they say never mind, I know they are not hungry, they just want it for deviant purposes. My dad's church was often a source of people wandering in and asking for assistance. Many would ask for gas money. My dad would tell them he would follow them to the gas station and fill up their car with gas personally, but you have no idea how many were irate and left. They didn't want money for gas - it was to feed a habit. Use wisdom, above all things to decide. A person never wants to miss an oppurtunity to help, but they also don't want to became an oppurtunity to hinder.
• Canada
26 Jan 07
You couldn't have expressed what I was thinking better. Well done!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (51157)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Thank you.
@nelltx (277)
• United States
25 Jan 07
I will give money to someone selling papers or flowers or something like that. At least they are doing SOMETHING to earn money, they aren't just sitting there. They at least have to put some thought into what they are doing.
• United States
25 Jan 07
No, I do not give them money. Nor do I get angry with them. There have been a lot of studies that show these sign holders can make as much as $800 per day! Most of them are not homeless .. they just don't want to work, and they can make more money holding the sign than getting a job. But, I'm not going to get angry with them. I just refuse to play the game, and I won't accept whatever anyone labels me over my perspective, because I have to live according to my own values. I believe in helping those who are truly poor, but I do so with hand-ups, not hand-outs.
• United States
25 Jan 07
I have heard that too. Always look for those who are really weathered. I have seen those that are just working the sign and they look totally different from the truly down and out. As I said, I look before I donate.
• Canada
25 Jan 07
I couldn't agree with you more danj.. it actually annoys me that they can make so much money suckering people into thinking the are homeless. However, if they are actually working by washing car windows I quite often will give then - but simple begging. Nope...
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
Yes if required and also depend on certain situation.
• United States
26 Jan 07
a few yrs back we actually had a homeless guy come up to me and my friends and ask for a cigg. lol! we thought it was pretty funny. and i would give any extra money to someone who is homeless if i had any, after paying bills, the rest goes to my son for clothes, wipes, diapers, ect...
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
And his need was funny because?????? I fail to see the numor.
• United States
26 Jan 07
*humor
@bigedshult1 (1613)
• United States
26 Jan 07
I don't give them money becoude if there are able to bet for money they can go get a job some way
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Jan 07
It's actually very hard for homeless people to get jobs, for various reasons. Even those who are in perfect health and don't have any real mental disabilities, there are issues such as lack of education, lack of an address, no proper clothes for interviews, etc. Sometimes simple things such as a prospective employer saying "Where can I call you at?" is enough to trip the whole hiring process up. Honestly, while most individuals wish they could help the homeless, how many managers are going to hire someone who comes in for an interview looking and smelling like they are homeless? I'm a big fan of charities that address issues like this as well as just giving money to the homeless. If you can provide someone with a proper shelter where they can not only live temporarily, but also find proper sanitation, good clothes, interview training, help with resumes, etc, you have a lot more of a chance to get off the streets than otherwise.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
I agree with you to a certain extent. I sometimes imagine how they got to the point they are at. Perhaps they have no money, no clothes and no car. They have no home to get ready in or cook in. Therefore they have to eat out-which is expensive. Things really add up and they must be in a very hard position to degrade themselves.
• United States
25 Jan 07
In Savannah I have never seen anyone begging or holding signs. I have only seen people with signs on the Interstate wanting a ride and I don't stop. The only poeple asking for money is the Salvation Army and I always give to them.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 07
YOu must live in a wealthy city that trucks their homeless here where I give them 5 dollars! LOL
• United States
26 Jan 07
I rarely see homeless people but I always give them money when I have it. I once gave a man several dollars and he said, "God bless you." I've had nothing but bad luck since.
1 person likes this
@ozkid92 (550)
• United States
26 Jan 07
the homeless actually get paid 50,000 dollars each year if you didnt know. the government pays them small bits at a time for food and clothing, which gives them the energy to work if they want to make more money (to buy luxury items or even a house/car). i never give them money because i know this for a fact, so it'd just be wasting my money. why cant they use the food to energize themselves in a job like the rest of us which will give them enough money to live more comfortably
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
Don't knw where you got our information or what classification that falls under homeless you are addressing. There are several classifications. Things must be very different where you live. I have worked withthe school disttrict for years and have seen the figures for the homeless families and a few of the homeless adults. They get no help here, other than whateer social services allows them for healthcare, which isn't much, medications, for those who are mentally ill, and the food at the soup kitchen, which is not cash.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Jan 07
I was homeless a couple of times for brief periods myself, so I have a lot of compassion for homeless people. I do tend to wish I could give more, but in some places, especially when one is alone, it's simply not safe to do so. There aren't really any visible homeless people where I am now, but I do give to charities that help them, and I have been known to help out people who have less than I do. One year a small religious group that I am a part of gave money to a lady with several children who couldn't afford gifts for them for the holidays. In larger cities, when I see homeless people, and feel that it is safe to do so, I tend to give whatever I have on me and can afford.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Jan 07
Um, I just realized I wasn't quite ready to end my post here. About 5 years ago, when I was travelling to the place where I grew up from where I live now, I ran into a girl in a city who was just like I had been as a young teen. I took her out to lunch, talked to her about life in general, gave her a bit of money, and sent her off to a shelter that had once helped me. Much later I heard from the lady who ran the shelter (which I still donate to) that she had gone back to school, was living with a wonderful foster family, and was planning for college. I've never felt better in my life!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 07
I think if you're going to give to some one, you should give it out of your heart and not worry about what they do with it. It's up to them what they do with the gift they recieved from you.
1 person likes this
@spcbrass (1192)
• United States
25 Jan 07
I used to work downtown so I would see these peopl eevery day. I never gave them money, but I would give them food or offer to buy them food. If they refused food then they would get nothing out of me. I don't want to see people have fun at my expense. I would rather that they survive and hopefully find the strength to pull themselves out of whatever hole they are in. I myself have been in their situation and I know it is a very difficult road to overcome and that you they do need the help of anyone that is willing to lend a hand. I have done my part for some of them.
• United States
25 Jan 07
So you feel that you would rather not give them the power to make another choice?
• United States
7 Feb 07
I do not give money to beggars/homeless. I will often give them food, or warmer clothing in the winter, but not money. I don't get angry at what they may be doing with money because it does not impact me at all. They aren't doing it with my money. The bible tells us to feed the hungry, cloth the clotheless and shelter the homeless. It does not say to give money to them, it says to meet their needs. Money is not a need and the needs can be met without giving them money. If they want money then they should get into a shelter and get a job.
1 person likes this
@Bizziebod (3526)
7 Feb 07
In the UK they have the 'Big Issue' sellers it's a magazine that the homeless can sell to make money. I sometimes buy one but not very often. Most beggars have dogs with them so I would prefer to buy a couple of tins of dog meat so at least the dog is well fed!
1 person likes this
@l_aroo (103)
• India
1 Feb 07
It is good to help those..We all waste lot of money..if that money brings smile on someones face we all should do that..atleast once a while
1 person likes this
• India
27 Jan 07
i would like to help them those who have from natural calamities because in that you can do nothing so you should always try to held the person who are homeless
1 person likes this
@balabrahmam (1074)
• India
26 Jan 07
yes it is not correct we are not looking at the bottom of the boardings and only attracting the heading of the slogens only
1 person likes this
@linnig (6)
26 Jan 07
I am not sure how to respond to this, one of my first reactions is a little anger, not at the fact you are giving money to the homeless(good on you!) but the way in which you describe "your project" rather entertaning, also the way you say "a whole $5", which in the UK is about £2.50, the price of a sandwich if you are lucky! I give money to the homeless, but only to "big issue sellers" as they are registered and i know that money will be put to good use. I feel , that you are giving money for your own amusement and also to fill some void. Have a good day!
1 person likes this
@nnsb75 (632)
• United States
26 Jan 07
i take a look very closely on the person if they really need help coz some of them are just too lazy to get a job though they look so strong to get one, but i do help those that i think really in need.
1 person likes this
@debny711 (264)
• United States
26 Jan 07
Sometimes I will give money. It all depends. Some people are phonies, they will look homeless on purpose just to get money. There was a guy near my house who did this and he got caught and was arrested.
1 person likes this
@roadromeo (376)
• India
26 Jan 07
well, i am very choosy with helping someone who is needy and asks for help wherever I am and I am sure we find a lot of these everywhere we go. Now, you would say that what do i mean by choosy. so, i always look at the person who is asking help and think whether they really need help or not. If the person is well enough to work and earn money thyself then i would rather not give any money to them and if i see that a poor very old lady is asking me for a help then there will go a $1 to her or whatever possible which i can giver her...
1 person likes this
@honeyangel (1992)
26 Jan 07
i dont give money to beggers on the street,as most of them are not homless and doing this because they dont want to work,most of them have more money this way then i do and my hubbie works.i was watching a programm about this and at the end of the days begging the guy got in his fancy car and went to his fancy house so i stopped giving to street beggers.i would rather give to a charity
1 person likes this