General Discussion

Do You Give Money to Homeless People?
D0m at 4:00PM, April 14, 2008
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I thought of this because a bum at school gave me the short version of his sob story ( He lost his house, etc. ).

I was SO close to just walking away, but out of the goodness of my heart…

I gave him a 1.35 in quarters.

What about you guys? Are there any “Get-a-job-you-bum” people in here? Or more “It-wasn't-their-fault” people?

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
usedbooks at 4:14PM, April 14, 2008
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My friends and family tell me not to, but I'm a gullible, soft touch. I pretty much always give to people when I have something to give (which isn't often, but eh…) I gave a homeless guy money to buy cigarettes. I also once gave a man everything in my wallet (about 8 dollars) because he said his wife was in the hospital and he needed gas money… – I know I've probably been played for a sucker a few times, but I can't help it.

I have also accepted rides from strangers a couple times. I pretty much believe people are honest and well-meaning. The truth is, even though I live in a fair-sized city now, I maintain the small town mentality. (Don't criticize. I'm still alive, after all.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
kyupol at 4:15PM, April 14, 2008
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I gave a bum $20 one time.

But normally I give anywhere from 25 cents to 2 dollars. Or if I have food I give it.

Because I feel sorry for them. Look at the friggin number of layoffs for cryin out loud. TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS AND FINDING THEIR WAY INTO POVERTY.



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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
lothar at 4:23PM, April 14, 2008
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it has been my experience that most “bums” are where they are for a reason. the reason being they are usualy Jerks ! that said i have given money to homeless dudes, as well as i have recieved money on a few ocaisons , or shared a bottle of whiskey.
i've never told a bum to get a job, they dont want to , that's why they're bums. i respect that honesty . what i don't respect is these guys that stand at freeway ramps with signs like“will work for food” they don't want to work anymore than the “bums” at the train tracks, if these guys realy wanted to work they would be in the back of the home depot parking lot !

those sob stories are usualy BS , i remember giving 2 bucks to a guy who came to my car window while i was parked outside a store, he gave me some story about needing money to get home or something , funny thing is , the same guy told me the same story 2 months later in the same parking lot.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
anonymousposterchild at 4:25PM, April 14, 2008
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D0m
I gave him a 1.35 in quarters.

… how?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:53AM
Custard Trout at 4:33PM, April 14, 2008
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If I have something to give, I always do. I always buy a Big Issue as well.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:00PM
Product Placement at 5:06PM, April 14, 2008
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I'll give money if I ever come across this sign.


We got to stick it to those ninjas you know.


Also. I like this one.



And this one

Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:49PM
kyupol at 5:11PM, April 14, 2008
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This guy must be john titor, the time traveller. lol!
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
HippieVan at 5:25PM, April 14, 2008
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I had a family member who was homeless for a while at various times(we always took him in so I like to think I've done my part for the homeless) but I mean he got welfare, there are food banks, they can even walk into some of these shelters and just get money on the spot. If anyone is starving where I live it's because they're spending money on a substance abuse problem. So no, I don't give them money.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
seventy2 at 6:26PM, April 14, 2008
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i've been known to play both sides of the fence….i've given as much as 20 at one time, and i also told another to screw off….so it depends on my mood…and how much money i have at the time…
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I'm gonna love you till the money comes, half of it's gonna be mine someday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:28PM
crazyninny at 7:06PM, April 14, 2008
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None, becuase there are no bums around here to give money too.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:49AM
Skullbie at 7:35PM, April 14, 2008
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I've given $5 to a homeless women with the most gorgeous singing voice I've ever heard. But she could have just been a hippie or something…i couldn't tell from her style of dress…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
imshard at 8:22PM, April 14, 2008
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Hippie Van
I had a family member who was homeless for a while at various times(we always took him in so I like to think I've done my part for the homeless) but I mean he got welfare, there are food banks, they can even walk into some of these shelters and just get money on the spot. If anyone is starving where I live it's because they're spending money on a substance abuse problem. So no, I don't give them money.

Sad but true. I still volunteer at the local job agency and homeless shelter in my free time. Some people truly have fallen on hard times, others simply routinely mismanage their money. As a rule, few of the cliches about the poor and under-privileged are true. Surprisingly many choose to live on the street. One old woman we could never convince to better her situation or take aid, was in fact a trust fund child. She died of heat exposure but left the shelter $300,000. A majority of homeless persons are simple substance abusers, or suffer from mental incapacitation or retardation. A few decades ago the state governments used to run state asylums for these people but ironically social programs shut them down and threw these people on the street. Now these people are dependent on charities as government aid does not provide for drug rehabilitation and mental care.

That said I'm known for giving free rides in my car, handing out the contents of my wallet and even providing meals and a place to stay when the shelters are full. I've only been taken for a fool a couples times though, but thats mainly because first hand experience has taught me how to recognize a truly needy person.

EDIT: Beware, few poor and homeless people actually pan-handle. Almost all the moochers you see on the corner with a sign own a car, a house, and probably take home more money than you do from living off of honest people's generosity. One man such man I interviewed takes home approximately 30-50k a year depending on the local economy. The rest are usually desperate for a fix of their favorite substance and can become dangerous if you interact with them.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
Fluffy Snot Monster at 5:11AM, April 15, 2008
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I'd give money if I could be sure that they wouldn't sneak off and buy cheap booze.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:30PM
ozoneocean at 7:37AM, April 15, 2008
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They're rare here. There used to be the occasional stinky, badly dressed youth at the main city train station and bus stations. They hung around asking people for change to: “buy a meal”, “get a cup of coffee”, “pay for their train fare home”, and so on. I haven't seen many for a while, but none of the pleas were genuine. Ever.

I didn't care, I'd still give money occasionally. They can do what they want with it. :)
Some of them may have been street kids, the rest were just… the sort of dumb kids that end up doing that in order to easily facilitate their own destructive little life choices.

The very few real homeless I've ever come across were genuine, polite, and not asking for handouts. If stinky… Not much in the way of good bathing facilities or changes of clothes when you live like that.

I feel very sorry for anyone tossed out on the street and not able to cope who HAS to ask for money. I'm sure they exist… my theory is that some homeless start out that way, learn to cope and/or learn to dislike asking for handouts, and just get on with things, even when they have to do without.

But as Imshard says, it's the mentally ill and chronic addicts ones who have it worst. I've met some who live in temporary accommodation. But they just don't get all the help they need… The only ones who Do have families who're able to make sure they do and pay for it. If they don't, government care and charity is inadequate.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:30PM
darrell at 7:43AM, April 15, 2008
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Sometimes I do and I also make sure some of the money I give to charity at work goes to homeless shelters and the like in my neighbourhood.

But this does remind me of something that happened to me a few months back. After picking up my comics I was waiting at the lights to cross the street when a woman pulling a cart of her belongings asked me for money. I said “No sorry, I don't have any money.” Okay, it was a lie as I did have some money but I can't afford to give money to everyone that asks. Since I was stuck at the light she decided to persist asking for money for a hotel room. I thought that was rather odd, I've been asked for money for coffee or food but a hotel room? I said again “No sorry, I don't have any money.” She replies “F**k you! I hate you too a**h**e!” and begins crossing the street (in front of traffic). I was a little upset so I replied “I'm sorry, I just don't have any money.” She yells back “Yes you do! Go to the bank and get me some a**h**e!” as she continues to walk away. I'm ashamed to say I found the event somewhat comical despite the sadness of the situation many of these people are in.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
amanda at 7:46AM, April 15, 2008
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Most of the homeless people around my city just stand there with signs and glare at you if you don't give them anything. There is one guy who plays his guitar at the longest stoplight in history - and I always give him what cash I have on me. There's another lady who draws pictures and sells them for a dollar. It's not much, but it's *something* other than just standing around waiting for handouts.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
kyupol at 8:27AM, April 15, 2008
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Another reason to be kind to the homeless:

In the event of a government collapse/ great depression, they are the least affected by it since they are already used to living in “the wild”.

While it sure is debatable (the whole oh-no-government-collapse-were-doomed!!!) it would help to be as prepared as possible.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Marguati at 3:01PM, April 15, 2008
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I generally do, and I don't really care about what they will use that money for - many homelesses are drug addicts, and a drug addict WILL get the money he's searching for, begging being the least harmful way for everyone. What really gets to my nerves is ingratitude (I often found bums who refused some 60-70cents worth of 2-5c coins, or who complained because they wanted more).
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Lonnehart at 4:21PM, April 15, 2008
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I don't give to the homeless unless I'm sure that there's no other way for them to earn any money of their own (those with severe handicaps, for example). The last person I gave money to was a woman missing an eye who was living on the streets in the Philippines when I visited my family there almost a decade ago.

I'd give money to the kids sleeping on the streets, but I was told that they're scamming tourists. They collect the money and give it to someone who's collecting that money for them for whatever reason…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
Black_Kitty at 4:44PM, April 15, 2008
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Occasionally I do but it's usually just change I have in my pocket. I don't generally feel safe standing there, fumbling for my wallet, and picking through the coins in front of them.

I once gave a bottle of water to a homeless lady. I offered her my box of biscuit sticks too but she pointed out that she had no teeth to eat them with. I was accompanying some students on a field trip that day and one of them said that she was homeless once. The lady was quite nice and when the student asked if she could have a picture taken with her, she was okay with that.

Another time I had a guy who asked me for a hot dog. I was heading to class and the campus is within the city so hot dog stands are everywhere. I was in a hurry (running late to class) so I offered to give him the money to buy the hot dog. He seemed a bit taken back by that but accepted.

A year or so before those two incidents, I was stopped on my way out of a 7-11 by a man who claimed he was hungry. Could I buy him some food? So I went across the street and got him exactly what I got myself (which was a cheeseburger so yeah, no big meals here.) Then he said he needed bus tickets to go to a doctor's appointment so I gave him two.

I remember going back to the print studio and chatting with a classmate about that. I wasn't quite sure if it was genuine but I couldn't really say no I guess. My classmate though suggested I was taken for a ride there…but one cheeseburger and two bus tickets isn't so bad.
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:24AM
Raccoo at 9:14PM, April 15, 2008
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lothar
those sob stories are usualy BS , i remember giving 2 bucks to a guy who came to my car window while i was parked outside a store, he gave me some story about needing money to get home or something , funny thing is , the same guy told me the same story 2 months later in the same parking lot.

That's happened to me also.
One night after work, when me and the other employee were going to our cars, a man approached me saying “Much respect, much respect.” then telling me how he and his wife and child(ren) were on their way down from NJ to NC to visit his parents and they ran out of gas. At first I was thinking it was a scam, but since he was kinda convincing, even showing me his drivers license, I gave him all the coin change I had in my car (was probably a dollar or so). He was very polite, and said god bless and etc. …then a few months later I see him approaching other people in the local Walmart parking lot (not far from where I work), then he comes up to me, starting into his “Much respect” and I tell him “I've seen you before.” He replies “Yeah maybe” (or something like) and begins again, I just turn and walk away, and he gets the idea and says later, and runs off after the next victim. …then a few months later my parents, bros and I have just ate at a resturant around the same area, and who shows up again? Man, he really needs to budget his gas money.

I saw him again recently at another resturant in the same area, and he tried it AGAIN, I just said sorry and he left me alone. I've talked with two of my friends and they've apparently run into him too.

I've had a couple of other cases where people have asked for money. Once in another city, someone asked for a dollar or two to get a ride (or call?) their brother cause their car broke down or something. When I gave him some money he gave me a hug. lol Another time I was getting lunch for co-workers and myself and someone asked for gas money. I told them to wait a few minutes since I was heading IN to get food I wanted to be sure I had money for that first. However, when I came out both them and their car was gone. +_+
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:57PM
Red Slayer at 10:16PM, April 15, 2008
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I give.
but i ask for a receipt.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:03PM
Raccoo at 10:24PM, April 15, 2008
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That's a good idea, for tax reasons.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:57PM
Aussie_kid at 12:09AM, April 16, 2008
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When I get off the train when going to class, I have to walk through this tunnel with about 200 other people and there are usually buskers. Now, I'd give them money, but most of them are well dressed and playing electric guitars with amps or have a microphone or are just playing music hooked up to a stereo system.Then at the end, there's this guy with a printed and laminated sign in a business suit selling 80 cent pends for $2.

Then later, when I walk over to the comic shop, I pass three more guys, so poor and hungry they can't even afford the carboard and marker to make a sign and can barely move sometimes. These guys I try to give something if I can afford it, but if I can't I move past them unless they call out and ask, then my concience makes me, even if it's only a 20 cent coin
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
Amelius at 1:27AM, April 16, 2008
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Back when I was going downtown for classes I'd run into all sorts of people while waiting for the bus (or heading to the bus stop) and if someone asked and I had money, I gave whatever I had (which usually wasn't much anyway). Mostly it was because the liquor store was across the street from the stop, so I had a lot of them asking me for exactly 87 cents. One of them even showed me his cards to prove that he was a war vet to add on the sympathy, but I was already giving him my change so it wasn't necessary…I felt pretty bad for him. I was waiting a while for the bus and another homeless guy approached me and at first I was worried that he might want some change too and I'd given mine away already, but instead he told me it was a really nice thing I did for the other guy and gave me a flower (a petunia he picked it out of someone's window tray but it was the thought that counted!) and he chatted with me about how he was going to have a career in the NBA and such, I can't recall if he said why it fell through.
I've found that the homeless people near the college bus stops were much, much nicer than most of the people that actually rode the buses with me.
Also, in Michigan there's a 10 cent refund on soda bottles and cans, so whenever I had a bottle that was nearly empty I had people asking for it. Events downtown usually attract the guys with bags looking for people that are drinking pop.

I've been especially sensitive to the way people are treated since I was waiting for the bus another day, and I was sitting in the shadows up against a brick building on a hot day while drawing my comics, and some jerk in a nice suit passes by and huffs and stutters at me to “Get a job you bum” and I say back, “ I'm just waiting for the BUS!” (he ignored me and kept walking, I don't think my justification worked since lots of homeless people wait for the bus too)
I may have been sitting there with a backpack, but I was far from looking like a homeless person! Another time a couple mistook me for a teen runaway and they were trying to offer me a ride to some shelter, at first I was really confused and a little nervous and then I realized what they wanted and said “I'm older than I look, I'm attending the college over there and I'm just waiting for the bus home!” and they were like “oh, my mistake! We thought you were a runaway…” I let them see my college ID and everything so they wouldn't worry! The problem is I'm up to my eyebrows in social anxieties and being downtown by myself always made me nervous, so I probably did look pretty pathetic and I probably looked like I was gonna start crying or something. Waiting for that horrible bus…ugh.

Anyway, it may be naive of me, but I tend not to have any qualms giving money to people who ask for it. I don't spend a lot of money anyway, so what's a few bucks for someone who needs it? (though I prefer to donate it to a charity or something similar) I may not know how to spot a professional scam artist, but I wouldn't want people to judge me like that if I were in an actual dire predicament either. That said, people that aren't in need who abuse generosity just to fill their pockets make me feel ill.



last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
lothar at 6:27AM, April 16, 2008
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oh yea . i also used to smuggle whoppers out the drive through window to hobos
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
albone at 8:19AM, April 16, 2008
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I don't give money to homeless on the street. I'm paranoid that something ‘wrong’ will happen. Usually, I just say, ‘I’m all tapped out.'

Ironically, I annually give a few hundred dollars to the animal shelter and cancer research.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
BIGSHOT at 8:28AM, April 16, 2008
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The way I look at it, the cost of a coffee that you don't really need probably means a lot to a homeless person. I cut back to one coffee a week and spend the money on people who need it. It makes the flying spaghetti monster happy if you're kind :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:22AM
worstcase at 2:18PM, April 16, 2008
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I don't give them money, generally because they always go and buy booze, often as soon as you give them the money. I remember an incident where we actually gave this guy some money because he seemed desperate(it was at a red light) he then immediately went into the gas station and came out with beer.

That just irks me
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:51PM

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