There are as many reasons for poverty/homelessness as anyone can possibly imagine! Some of it is self inflicted, but some of it happens to good people who lost a job and were living from one pay check to the next. Credit card debt, living beyond one’s paycheck, drug and alcohol addiction, mental instability etc. etc. etc.
Homelessness will always be with us because, for whatever reason, some prefer it that way! Don’t clobber me, it’s a fact.
They refuse to go to shelters even when the temps. go below freezing, and that is their right. Accept it, you don’t have to like it. I don’t give money to panhandlers because some of the able-bodied make a career out of begging, with astronomical rewards. (Your FAT hobo must be eating well!)
I am all for supporting soup kitchens, providing clothes, blankets and shelters. Give food gift cards (McDonalds/BurgerK). Buy extra coffee, sandwiches, dinner, whatever and give to whomever you see that needs sustenance.
I prefer this type of "hand-up" to handing out money on the street. Donate food/money or help out with your time, cooking and serving at the local soup kitchen.
My friends, Mr. and Mrs. L. & family, went to the shelters every Thanksgiving to cook, serve and help feed the homeless.They found it rewarding as a family and a teaching moment for their children. Donate a gift card from a local supermarket to a shelter.
Giving money on the street can make you a target if you travel the same route on foot. Not something you want to encourage. My motto is feed and clothe the masses with donations to bona fide organizations that you know will put your donation to good use. And for your sanity, keep in mind that you will NEVER eradicate homelessness and poverty. There are too many variables that cause it and perpetuate it.
I prefer the shelters that try to get employment for the homeless, the HAND UP, with a meal, a shower, clean clothes, bus fare and teach how to fill out applications and interview, and teach reading to the illiterate. In my opinion, this is the most effective method to try to eradicate homelessness for those who don’t want to be homeless!
If I have extra cash on me and someone on the street asks for something, I have a tendency to give it. It might only be a few coins, but there’s a good chance those few coins mean more to that person than they do to me. Might I be enabling an addiction? It’s possible. But I might just as easily be helping someone get his/her only meal of the day. I remember buying someone a cup of coffee once (he had asked me for money outside of a coffee shop and I didn’t have any cash…I just had my card, so I bought two cups of coffee and gave him one on my way out), but I don’t recall every encountering anyone when I had leftovers, although if I did, I would probably give them away.
i was pondering another thought I heard somewhere – something i tend to get stuck on – if you give 10 times, and 9 are false but that last 1 really helped someone, isn’t that better? I just can’t always say yes…
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