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Do You Give Money To Homeless People On The Street?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Shogun, Nov 3, 2009.

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  1. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

    I think there are two main opinions on this. You either see giving homeless people (vagrants) spare change as a waste as they'll just go and spend it on drink or drugs, or you dig deep and give whatever you can anyway.

    Personally I can't help myself. If I see a vagrant, I have to give him/her whatever I can spare. One time I gave a homeless guy a tenner just because he asked so politely. I know what it's like to be out, miles from home, hungry, cold and in need. I know the desperation of it all.

    I try to talk to them sometimes. Make them feel human. To be completely honest, some of the best and most interesting conversations I've ever had have been with vagrants. I actually respect their opinions on reality far more than the ordinary sheeple I encounter. Well, mostly.

    I've spoken to people that prefer to buy vagrants food instead of giving spare change as you know that they aren't misusing your money that way on booze or alcohol.

    Anyway, what do you do? It seems most people just ignore them and walk past.
  2. Kris.T

    Kris.T Well-Known Member

    More so because I hate carrying around change, I'll throw all my change into their guitar case, or cup or whatever they're using to collect money. The ones that are really polite and just seem like they genuinely want it for food, I offer to go buy them some food and spend some time with them.
  3. NoGood

    NoGood Well-Known Member

    even when im broke i still give to the homeless of put something into the charity box.
  4. Aurora Gory Alice

    Aurora Gory Alice Well-Known Member

    Yep always, I feel very strongly about this in fact. When I was function, I worked briefly with St. Mungos and Shelter. We used to collect clothing, shoes and blankets for winter, then go and distribute them to whoever we could find.
    A few times I've been on my way home from a night out and I've seen someone, taken them to McDonalds for a meal and given them whatever I had left change-wise from the night.
    Always sit and talk with them when I can as well. Sometimes it's heart wrenching though, their stories.

    I actually understand why they buy booze to be honest. I met a homeless couple once, about five years ago. It was the age old story - he was sikh, she was muslim, they had run away from their hometown to London, but they hadn't thought it through. They planned to go on DSS etc. But wound up on the streets.
    I saw them again about a year later and they were looking pretty worse for wear, looking around the town for empty alcohol cans and stuff rather than food and money this time. I asked them why, and they said being drunk helps them forget where they are, it keeps them warm and it's easier to fall asleep when you're hammered.
    To be honest if I got turfed out onto the streets I'd no doubt end up the same way. It's rough out there and people forget, for a lot of them it's not their fault. When you think about it logically we're all one step away from ending up on the street.
    One bout of bad luck, one bad decision. It can happen to any of us.
  5. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    I used to give out a lot but then I found out some of the people who I'd regularly give too weren't actually homeless and were just pretending to be. Now there are only 3 people who I give to on a regular basis.
  6. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Monetary exchanges in general make me uncomfortable. Giving money to a stranger... I don't know. I want to just avoid the whole thing, and I'm really sorry to those of you who really need my quarter (and I can't tell which of you those are) :(
  7. fweeps

    fweeps Staff Alumni

    Yes I give to the homeless...regardless of what they use it for.
  8. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I give money as well, and sometimes food if I have any on me. I figure the benefits of being able to buy food outweigh the chances of them spending it on alcohol. Frankly, I wouldn't blame them drinking it all away either: if I were in that condition, I'd probably only have blissful drunkeness to look forward to as well.
  9. Scully

    Scully Well-Known Member

    I never have money on me (that way I don't unnecessarily spend...), but I buy them food and water sometimes when I go to the mini market. There's one I know who's often there.
  10. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I give to the homeless whenever I can. And I don't worry about if they're spending it on drugs and alcohol or not because, I use drugs and alcohol. If that's what they decide that they need more than food, or an addition to food, then fine.
    I don't give what I don't have. If I don't have $1 to spare, I don't give $1. If I'm doing well and I have $5 to spare I'll give $5.

    I would imagine :D. They've probably got the best stories to tell.
  11. J_Oli3

    J_Oli3 Well-Known Member

    Well, I usually haven't got any change on me, so not really. But one time down Old Street tube station, this homeless guy was asking for money. And most of the time, I realised, they don't usually ask, so it really got to me, and I ended up giving him some money. I reasoned it was enough for a bit of food but not enough for alcohol.
  12. Aurora Gory Alice

    Aurora Gory Alice Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough that's where the couple that I met were, at Old Street.
  13. bluegrey

    bluegrey Antiquities Friend

    Some panhandlers are aggressive, obnoxious and frankly threatening in appearance so for them I just say I'm sorry and don't make eye contact. Some panhandlers are very humble and ask you with big puppy eyes so I give them a dollar or two and hope they will spend it on food or essentials.
  14. LDA

    LDA Well-Known Member

    Nah but I give 'em cigarettes.
  15. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    I never give them money but im happy to give them food or tobacco. i also never ignore them, if they ask for money i will stop and talk, it dont hurt to talk to them and its disgraceful for people to shun them because theyre homeless.
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