New Jen's Horde

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Will Work for Food

I always feel bad driving past homeless folks who are asking for money. Even though I had an experience in college on the Pearl Street Mall with a beggar who had far more money than I did, I still never know what to do. This article really helped put a lot of my feelings into words. She gives ideas of how to walk that line between not wanting to get scammed or fuel someone's drug habit, and not hardening your heart to a fellow human.

Good article. I've often wondered how to handle this in a Christian way as I want my children to have compassion for their fellow man. But you always wonder what the money is used for or if the food you buy is eaten. Truthfully how much easier is it to give a dollar and be on your way than talking to someone and let them know you care. Made me think. Thanks! MO
I'll play the cynic here and say that there are both types on the streets--those that make more than you and are scamming, and those who actually are in need. If someone is truly hungry, do you suppose a handshake and a chat will stave off their starvation? Each person has their own conscience to guide them, and I'm not the one to judge that. But I do believe that I'd rather give money to 50 scammers than let mistrust and insecurity deprive of help the one person who truly needed it. Unfortunately, that's what the scammers rely on--but what is the option? Typecasting and prejudging them all?
Yes, but she also gave food. I don't think anyone is saying that the solution to the homeless problem is a smile and a pat on the head. Many people are obviously in need, and giving a dollar that probably won't be spent on food (a homeless man once told me the only thing he needs money for is booze, everything else is taken care of by shelters and soup kitchens, etc), or worse yet averting your eyes aren't good solutions.
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