The other day a good friend asked me t“Should he give money to a homeless person? Well, I flashed back to my days on the streets without home. Thought about Billy a young kid who always asked me for money when he and I saw him on the streets of Pensacola, Florida. But my quick answer was NO. People should not give homeless people money. Now that I may have shocked you by my short answer. Keep reading for my more detailed answer to the above questions. And I will tell you why people should not give money to the homeless. While offering up some alternatives to fulfill their streets needs. Keep in mind I too have been on the streets homeless as you read my post.
Now I know every person in the free world can come up with the myth answer to this question. Here is an answer I heard a thousand times if not a million times. They did it to themselves, people say. Don’t give them money, they’ll only buy booze they say. As I have said before the homeless in the United States really have a bad reputation as a group. As many are homeless by choice. But that is a discussion for another possible blog post here.
Not to say there are not homeless on the streets like I just describe. But fact be known there definitely is. But it is clearly wrong to say every person who facing homelessness begs for money. That simply not true. In reality not all homeless citizens do. In fact there many homeless out on the streets that are homeless but don”t look homeless at all. You could never tell just by looking at him, her or a family. I was often told when I was on the streets that I did not look homeless. Homelessness cuts across all social classes in America if you want to know the truth.
Getting back to why you should not give homeless people money. It only allows them to continue in their bad behavior or behaviors. Yes, some have more than one bad behavior. Nine times out of ten they will not do with that money what they claim they will do. Now you should not be shocked by that at all. But it is true. Most street level homeless will use that money in a negative ways. To get drunk or high and maybe even both of those. Then you need to ask yourself “does the money I give them and I am taking cash here, really help that homeless person. Or will it end the homeless problem. If you think about it the answer is no. So what do you do to help them? Well, there are some logical answers to that question. But it’s not giving homeless people cash as they stand in front of you on the streets. Don’t stop reading now. It just getting interesting. I promise I will provide an alternative for you.
Alternative To Giving Homeless Cash Money:
There no way around it, In certain parts of every city in America you will have homeless people come up to you and ask for money. It happened to me often in Pensacola, And I was homeless with very little money at the time. Two of the most famous lines of homeless citizens is: “I need money to eat” I have not eaten in a week, Or I need bus fare to get home today. Yes, I was fooled a few times by those stories. I gave up my money because I believed what that homeless person told me. I would get the sad story. Then I would feel sorry for them. And they would get the money.
After a while I caught on to the untruths. The homeless where telling me lies to get my money.. I could not believe that those sad stories where where all lies but they where.
So I came up with an idea to help those homeless people. But on my own terms and conditions. And yes it cost me a little money.It also helped the homeless individual. And it was a way that I made sure my money was being used for good items in the end. Not bad things that where hurting them the like liquor or drugs. I would take some of my funds and buy a few gift cards at local fast-food restaurants. There was just enough money on the card for one meal. So when a homeless person told me they had not eaten, I would give them a meal card I had. This way I knew my money was being used for food. Not anything illegal or that would do them harm. This way I could help them. Making sure they used my money in a correct positive way. But understand I did this act of kindness by choice. Not because I had too.
When I was on the Gulf Coast I could ride the city buses all over Pensacola for free. Often homeless would approach me and ask me for bus fare. So each month I would buy a few extra bus tickets. For city buses only. So when a person who was homeless would ask me for bus fare, I would present them with a bus ticket I had purchased. It was a ticket that was good all month. Using the ticket I gave them, they got home. That made my heart feel good. I helped a person get home that day.
You Can Donate To Organizations That Help The Homeless:
There are lots of ways to help homeless people in any community. The easiest way to help the homeless is donate your money. Select a nonprofit who’s mission is helping the homeless in your city. This ensures that the money given is used in positive ways that help those who face homelessness, That the homeless get what they need without the worry of how to pay for it. Social worker and other professionals will apply your money to area resources that get homeless citizens what they need. And you can rest easy knowing your donation is helping someone. Your money goes to the right resources and helps those in need.
If you can not donate money or goods to a place that helps the homeless consider donating your time. Yes, that right donate your time. Money may make the world go around but it is not everything. You can consider being a volunteer at your local homeless shelter. I know from personal experience of being homeless both the homeless shelter and homeless will appreciate the time spent with you. An act of kindness matters and can go a long way with the homeless population. Go for it! Give volunteering at a homeless shelter a shot. You might like it after all. And want to do it again.
You may also consider leaving a donation to an organization that supports the homeless in your will. Or look at donating to churches, temples, mosques, and other religious institutions that offer help to the homeless community.
Don’t let homelessness be a permanent solution to a temporary problem in your community. Make a choice to take action that give you and your community measurable results in a positive way!
Just a recap . In this post I covered for you why you should never give a homeless person money. I explained the reality of why. Then talked about safe ways you can use your money to help the homeless in your community. I will never hand over my cash to a homeless person. I feel it’s important to know what my money is purchasing for that homeless person. The best way to do that is to donate to organizations that provide for the homeless. Let the social workers and professionals who work with the homeless on a daily, weekly or monthly basis put your donated money where it is needed most.
Now I have a simple question to my blog readers. Have you ever given cash money to a homeless person before?