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Is it good or bad to give money to the homeless?
January 13, 2011
9:16 pm
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Tommy45
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When I was in college, I saw homeless people regularly. When I had a little spare change I'd give it to them. Some people say that's a bad idea since they'll use it for drugs. Was I wrong to try to help with a few coins here and there?

January 14, 2011
1:54 pm
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freeme
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I don't think it was wrong.  I don't usually give money to the homeless (actually I don't see any around here).  I do donate to a lot of charities but not to individuals.  You don't know if the homeless person went and bought drugs.  You do what you feel comfortable doing.  If you want to help out the less fortunate, why not donate time.

January 15, 2011
10:31 am
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crystalwaters
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I tend to believe the opposite of what you said, freeme - charities have so much overhead oftentimes, just google "aid to haiti" and see how much was donated and how little progress was made.  Giving directly to the individual, you see that you're giving DIRECTLY TO THE INDIVIDUAL.  Having said that, I was told something very wise by a friend soon after I moved to NY...to make sure that in giving to this person on the street, you are not taking AWAY from yourself.  If you have the money to spare, then give.  If your utilities haven't been paid or whatever, pay your utilities.  If you are concerned the person would use it for drugs etc, then do what I saw a guy do yesterday -- buy a box of McNuggets, and give it to the person.

January 15, 2011
2:09 pm
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BettyAnn
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I don't think it's wrong if you are comfortable with it. I give money to the homeless, but it's usually just spare change or a dollar at most. Every now and then I will buy someone food, but in that case I don't mind the bigger investment because I know exactly where the money is going.

January 17, 2011
6:51 pm
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Tommy45
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Thank you all for the feedback. I really like the ideas of buying food and donating time for those in need, because then I know I'm really helping them. I guess I'll stick with doing that, except when I just have a little change to spare.

January 17, 2011
8:16 pm
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dtypist
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I never give money to the homeless but I share my food to them whenever I have one. It is safer to give them food or clothing than money because we never know what they will buy with that money.

January 20, 2011
11:33 am
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purplesaber
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I don't think it's a bad thing. There are homeless people out there that aren't drug users or alcoholics. Many of them have a mental illness or have no family or friends to turn to.

January 22, 2011
9:14 am
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hiddenobject
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January 21, 2011
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"Is it good or bad to give money to the homeless?" That depends. What concerns me is why would someone be drawn to a perfect stranger and want to get close enough to them to give them anything? 

January 23, 2011
11:04 pm
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Tommy45
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Hiddenobject, I can definitely see where you're coming from. My wife feels the same way, and I used to have that attitude too. However, I think it becomes different when you pass by several of the same people struggling every day. I was going to college in a big city, and it was impossible to avoid homeless people. When they are part of your daily environment, it makes it more difficult to completely ignore their existance and not want to help when you can.

January 25, 2011
3:35 pm
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hiddenobject
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January 21, 2011
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I have no way of knowing if someone is really homeless or if they really need money or what they are going to do with it. I would have no way to know if it was going towards a good cause or a bad one like to buy cigarettes, alcohol or drugs with.

January 26, 2011
9:17 am
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Rhyannon
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It is hard to walk by people and not want to help. You don't know if they are going to take the money and use it for needs or take it and buy alcohol or something like that. I would maybe make a donation at the homeless shelter and even think about volunteering there if you want to help out.

May 28, 2013
4:11 am
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RehabForTeens
Orange, CA
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I don't believe in giving money to the homeless.as they would use it for all the wrong reasons.Instead ,I support them by giving them food and daily neccessities ..

October 10, 2013
10:34 pm
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VL
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I tihnk it's good to give money to the homeless and give them the benefit of the doubt. So many brush them off, assuming they use it to buy drugs and alcohol. If they do, shame on them. If they don't, you have helped someone afford food for the day... good on you! Another thing that could be done is offering them food/ drinks instead. I have also prepared care packages, but am unsure how to approach them... Any advice? 🙂

January 19, 2014
9:04 pm
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frottoisgreat
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It depends upon the situation-at-hand.  Use your head when it comes to giving out cash to homeless people.  Ive seen people give money to those they shouldn't and people refuse to help those who need it.  In lieu of direct cash, give them food or hygene items.  Or ask what they need the most and if its legit, get them that.

 

Homeless people qualify automatically for SNAP (Foodstamps and EBT) AND tefap.  TEFAP is a government program that buys up surplus food and doles it out to agencies like foodbanks and shelters.  There are a number of websites that they can use. http://www.usda.gov is one of them. Homeless people have access to 2-3 meals a day at the food bank and direct food they can take with them, plus food stamps.

 I have even come across one site, called http://www.givemedatmoney.com that you can download a book and it tells you basically all the tips and tricks to snap/foodstamps Yell .  How to get the most out of what is loaded onto your foodstamps/ebt-card.  So unless they are mentally impaired or just honestly are unaware, there IS help for them to eat.

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