Do you give to beggars?

by jean-luc picard 101 Replies latest jw friends

  • jean-luc picard
    jean-luc picard

    I have seldom given money to beggars. I have often thought that many are people who just do not want to work

    However, I am starting to wonder if I ought to: and how much to give?

    I have just seen a news item that said that 10% of people in my well to do country live below the poverty line.

    An out of work estate agent was living on 12€ a day. ( 20$ but one cannot just compare on that basis.

    A BigMac costs 4€00 here , to give an idea.)

    I am starting to think that a very little means a lot to people in this predicament.

    I am not rich and just manage to round out the end of the month. But I am not in difficulty either.

    What are your thoughts?

  • QuestioningEverything

    I do give to some beggars/homeless. Most often, I will give $1 or whatever change I have. It makes me nervous to pull out my wallet in front of a stranger who needs money. That sometimes prevents me from doing so.

    Where I am from, there are quite a few very poor people, they wait outside stores, on the side of the roads at intersections. It is so sad to me.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I would love to be able to know the difference between the hungry and the cons. Since I cannot, I generally don't give. All the data suggests that this doesn't help. I give to people I know are in need. My wife is a softer touch and won't give money- she gives FOOD. She will buy a beggar food if she sees them on the street looking like they need it. She carries apples or sealed food products in the car.

  • finallysomepride

    Generally not, but I have bought food for them at times, that way I know it's not going on drink or drugs

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    My thoughts probably won't be popular but they are born of experience

    1. Years ago in Montreal I watched a "deaf" man wander through a McDonald's selling little tiny pencils for whatever change people could give. When he got to me I started talking to him in sign language. He tried to fake it and lost. He left MsD's immediately and I watched him cross over to the KFC next door. He went behind the KFC (I could still see him) and got into a huge gas guzzler of a car with two women that he talked to - like speaking not signing) and they all drove off to find another place to hit on people. He made quite the hit in McDs. People were emptying their wallets and pockets to give him money. I was disgusted. Are they all like this? No I didn't think so
    2. I worked in a homeless shelter in Winnipeg. In Canada people who are out of work have a safety net. It might not be great but it does mean they won't starve or shouldn't be homeless. People who were at the shelter could get their social assistance money while they were staying at the shelter. Those who really were living on the street could go to the social assistance office and pick up their money. They could also have their money meted out twice a month so it all didn't disappear. Rent could be paid directly from the office meaning they could always have a roof over their heads. Most people who came to the shelter were there once and then found a place to stay and got a life. The ones who didn't. the ones who blew through their money in a couple of days were spending their money on drugs or alcohol or both. If they wanted help to get off the drugs it could be arranged for free. They chose not to take advantage of the arrangement. Residents of the shelter got their meals free - 3 meals a day and a couple of snacks. If they were working they could even get a lunch to take with them to work. In winter a soup truck went around the neighborhood giving out hot soup, coffee and a snack. If they had something to put the soup in they could fill it up - no charge. People who did not live at the shelter paid $2 for a meal. - breakfast - hot or cold cereal or pancakes or breakfast sandwich or eggs, muffin and tea, coffee or juice -- lunch and dinner - meat, 2 veg, rice or potatoes, dessert and a drink (coffee or juice) Once everyone had been fed people could go for seconds or thirds. until the food was gone. --- There was no reason to be on the street begging for food. They wanted the money for drugs or booze. They didn't even need it for clothing because we had a clothing centre where they could get anything - not new but not crap either
    3. When I moved to Ottawa I lived in a shelter at the Y for 9 months until they found an accessible apartment for me to move into. Residents got money for three meals a day (two at the shelter and money to buy food to cook in the kitchen). They could get into a drug rehab program for free. If they followed the rules they had a roof over their heads. Those who didn't follow the rules were out getting drunk or getting high.

    I have seen this problem up close and see perspoectives that most people never see or know about. So my position on this is that I will not support a con artist or enable an addict. The con artist needed to be arrested for fraud. The addicts needed help but not the kind that comes out of your wallet. Offer them a meal and most will refuse. And most will laugh their a$$es off once their day is done and after they have raked in $30-50 a day. I suspect that is more than most of you make.

  • Pams girl
    Pams girl

    I dont give money.

    I go to the nearest shop, and buy them a sandwich and a coffee. Some are dissapointed not to have some cash from me, but most are grateful.

    Cant save the world, but a little human kindness goes a long way.

  • mrsjones5

    I had friend who lived in San Francisco (the city has a hugh homeless population) explain to me why not to give money to those folks by the road almost very similiar to what Lady Lee said. He told me that those folks you see by the road are racking up big bucks (50+ plus a day depending on where they stand and how sorry they look) and were almost always cons. He told me to test his premise then next time a homeless person approached me by offering food the next time I was asked for money. If the homeless person is really hungry they'll take the food, if they turn down the offer and insist on the money then they're not really hungry and want the money for drugs or brooze. I've done the test and more often than not the food wasn't wanted.

    I also got to see the real side of being homeless when I worked in the cafeteria of a shelter in San Francisco. It wasn't pretty but the place was clean, food was good and hot and of resturant quality (the chef worked in a 5 star hotel and volunteered because he was homeless at one time).

    So I give food not money.

  • NewChapter

    I generally didn't give money, and I worked in a downtown area where I was constantly approached. But I would stop and talk. There was one particular man that I got to know quite well. He told me he had served during Vietnam and had terrible back problems. Then one day I saw him in an unfamiliar place. He didn't see me, and it was quite far from his usual corner. As he walked, he couldn't coordinate his arms and legs. His back was clearly crooked and siezed up. I had never seen him walk. This type of deformity would be hard to fake, his back was bent sideways.

    Than he disappeared. It was quite a while, and I thought about him. He showed up one day, smiling and as sweet as ever. He always had a kind word to say. I asked him where he had been. He said he was in the hospital. His old injuries has caused some serious complications and he was down for quite a while.

    From that point on, I put money in his cup. I knew he was probably on disability. Maybe he drank. He didn't sit at home though, he went out to try and get money. It was hard work, and judging from the difficulties I secretly witnessed with my own eyes, I knew it was exceptionally hard for him. I decided I would trust him to use the money as he saw fit. It was out of my surplus, and I never missed it. I really believed he had given up his health for my country, and I didn't feel adequate to judge him any longer.


  • dontplaceliterature

    I gave a homeless guy 11 bucks on Friday last week. I normally do not give money to homeless people, but I had it in my cup holder and was driving passed him. I was only going to use it for junk food...same as him probably.

    Maybe I should have given him an Awake!

  • ShirleyW

    In line of what Lady Lee said, there are so many beggars on subway system here you get to know their schedule, one guy who definitely looked the part with ragged clothes and pathetic voice would always beg on my train. One day walking down the street in my neighborhood I see this guy take out the thickest wad of money I've seen! I guess this beggar/homeless person knows the meaning of save some for a rainy day!

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