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Don’t give money to panhandlers.

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  • Don’t give money to panhandlers.

    I have more sympathy for the homeless than I do for most of the needy. Most of the “needy” live comfortably on taxpayers’ backs. But, the homeless don’t live comfortably.

    Able-bodied panhandlers need to get jobs. They don’t deserve your money. The disabled should be collecting Social Security Disability, so they don’t need your money. Vets can get free housing. All the poor qualify for free food (grocery debit cards) and free medical care (medicaid), so why do they need your money? Many panhandlers have just found that panhandling is an easy way to get cash, it becomes their career of choice.

    I know it’s not that simple and bad things happen to good people and it can be hard to recover from being homeless. But, the homeless do have recourse other than begging for money.

    The problem is that panhandlers are a public nuisance. Giving them money encourages them to continue panhandling, and it encourages other to join them.
    I’d like to see the government be more active in providing housing for the homeless. Modern, clean, low-cost (to taxpayers), highly supervised housing facilities (with treatment for mental illness and addiction) could save taxpayer money because the chronic homeless do cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per year (mostly for liberal use of emergency rooms).

    Let the police enforce the laws against living in public spaces (defecating in public, camping on the sidewalk, and so on). And, let the public learn not to give money to panhandlers.

    The Bible speaks mainly of helping the truly needy inside the church, not of being a public welfare agency, let alone a public welfare agency that enables sinful lifestyles. It's fine if your church wants to run a soup kitchen, but don't give cash to panhandlers.

    Just my opinion.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
    Giving them money encourages them to continue panhandling, and it encourages other to join them.
    When areas providing social services are made known, many migrate to those areas. It is an issue in the area I live, whether to provide social services or not. If we do, we can expect to have many homeless come to our town or city.

    Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
    It's fine if your church wants to run a soup kitchen, but don't give cash to panhandlers.
    Our church was giving out little packages to give to panhandlers, they included gospel tracks, nutrition bar, and water. I really liked that idea.

    God bless,
    William
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    • #3
      Originally posted by William View Post
      Our church was giving out little packages to give to panhandlers, they included gospel tracks, nutrition bar, and water. I really liked that idea.
      I understand that, and it's better than giving money to give a snack and some water. I few snacks while on street corner duty would be appreciated. But, food is easy to get elsewhere (just walk into a food stamp office, for example). They want money to buy what SNAP debit cards can't buy.
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      • #4
        I drop off shipments at a UPS store and I couldn't believe a sign one guy had as I passed by. It said, "I accept everything green", it had a picture of cash and weed on it. I think giving out helpful stuff like what William said is often more productive than cash.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
          I have more sympathy for the homeless than I do for most of the needy. Most of the “needy” live comfortably on taxpayers’ backs. But, the homeless don’t live comfortably.

          Able-bodied panhandlers need to get jobs. They don’t deserve your money. The disabled should be collecting Social Security Disability, so they don’t need your money. Vets can get free housing. All the poor qualify for free food (grocery debit cards) and free medical care (medicaid), so why do they need your money? Many panhandlers have just found that panhandling is an easy way to get cash, it becomes their career of choice.

          I know it’s not that simple and bad things happen to good people and it can be hard to recover from being homeless. But, the homeless do have recourse other than begging for money.

          The problem is that panhandlers are a public nuisance. Giving them money encourages them to continue panhandling, and it encourages other to join them.
          I’d like to see the government be more active in providing housing for the homeless. Modern, clean, low-cost (to taxpayers), highly supervised housing facilities (with treatment for mental illness and addiction) could save taxpayer money because the chronic homeless do cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per year (mostly for liberal use of emergency rooms).

          Let the police enforce the laws against living in public spaces (defecating in public, camping on the sidewalk, and so on). And, let the public learn not to give money to panhandlers.

          The Bible speaks mainly of helping the truly needy inside the church, not of being a public welfare agency, let alone a public welfare agency that enables sinful lifestyles. It's fine if your church wants to run a soup kitchen, but don't give cash to panhandlers.

          Just my opinion.
          This is probably the most disturbingly heartless thing I've ever read. Just because someone looks healthy doesn't mean that they can get work. How many businesses do your really know that would hire a homeless person without an address? It's a catch 22, you need a job to get a house and a house to get job. So just casually saying that they should just get a job while they are homeless in a recession is really cold and offensive. I get not giving money to the guy that reeks of alcohol or weed but you don't know if they really need help to eat or medicine. When is the last time you've checked out the government housing programs, I know the one in California, the list is five years long before they can get you into a place. If they can't get into a place for five years, where are they supposed to live? While people living in a park is problematic because it's dirty and cold, they probably do it for water and a bathroom. Texas has a special places where the homeless can park their car for the night and sleep but that isn't the normal reaction to the problem of sleeping in a city that doesn't want you. I don't understand how you can say you have more sympathy for the homeless than you do for the needy but then call them a public nuisance that need to have police officers deal with them.
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          • #6
            There are several cases when homeless people are really in need some money, food or housing but of course there are a lot of panhandlers out there that are part of a bigger system and only collect money. I think that we can't really decide which homeless is which case, so instead money try giving out cleaning supplies or food to them, when requested.
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            • #7
              I don't give money (or even spare change in general) to people who beg for them. Usually they just spend it on drugs, or even pay tribute to the local criminal organization, and giving them attention would most likely get you pick-pocketed or even mugged later. Best just leave them alone, and even try to not even make eye contact. But if you really feel sorry for some of them, like the kids, don't give them money. Give them food. That way, they can't purchase drugs with those, and they can't do anything with it, apart from just eating it themselves.
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              • #8
                Quite often, the rules which dictate who can be classified as 'needy' are so stringent that the truly needy cannot get the help they require. For example, my parents, many years ago, were forced to help raise my brother's two children while he was in jail. Their mother had just committed suicide right in front of them, they were hostile and angry and bound to do anything they could to aggravate my parents. My parents are elderly, have a fixed income and absolutely could NOT get even food stamps to help feed those kids while they lived in my parents' home. Those kids practically ate them out of house and home and the state refused to help out until my parents contacted them several times in desperation. They finally got food stamps, but only on a very temporary basis. Apparently you can only get help if you have no job at all, or make almost nothing at the job you have, which is why so many 'needy' remain that way deliberately, because it's the only way they can get any help at all.
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                • #9
                  Because some of the ones who are out asking for money are not actually doing without, it is hard to know who truly needs help. We have probably all read the stories about the people who stand out with the signs during the day asking for money, and then get picked up by their wife/family in a nice car and go home for the night.
                  Some of the ones I have seen out wandering through the parking lots at the stores and stopping shoppers who are walking out to their cars, are people with cell phones and cigarettes, and sometimes even what look like expensive shoes and clothes.
                  I never hand out money; but when someone asks for money to buy food, I will get them something to eat if there is a place close by where I can do so. I have also offered to take people to the rescue mission where they can have both food and shelter, and invariably, they refuse this kind of help.
                  I think that if they were actually hungry and homeless, they would avail themselves of the help from a rescue mission like most of the other truly homeless people seem willing to do.
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                  • #10
                    I agree. These people usually have a "boss" who is controlling all their activities. They have to share their income in order not to be kicked out from the place they are standing at. Some of them are even homeless and it makes it all worse.

                    So, instead of giving your money away to them I'd prefer making donations on charity sites.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OursIsTheFury View Post
                      I don't give money (or even spare change in general) to people who beg for them. Usually they just spend it on drugs, or even pay tribute to the local criminal organization, and giving them attention would most likely get you pick-pocketed or even mugged later. Best just leave them alone, and even try to not even make eye contact. But if you really feel sorry for some of them, like the kids, don't give them money. Give them food. That way, they can't purchase drugs with those, and they can't do anything with it, apart from just eating it themselves.
                      I usually say that I don't have any cash, as I'm making any kind of payments straight from my bank account. They usually react somewhat like that: "Oh, okaaaay...(next one)".
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by William View Post
                        Our church was giving out little packages to give to panhandlers, they included gospel tracks, nutrition bar, and water. I really liked that idea.
                        That is a great idea. When I was younger, and a bit more naive, I gave money to panhandlers. Sadly, many of them have substance abuse issues, and that money goes to feeding that, rather than feed them. It is better to give money to local organizations that help the homeless.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nahum View Post

                          That is a great idea. When I was younger, and a bit more naive, I gave money to panhandlers. Sadly, many of them have substance abuse issues, and that money goes to feeding that, rather than feed them. It is better to give money to local organizations that help the homeless.
                          I notice a pattern at our local food distribution center for the homeless, usually in the beginning of the month there are very little people around or just hanging out. It seems that people get into all kinds of trouble in the beginning of each month when they receive state or disability benefits.... the money is often spent unwisely and sometimes used for illegal substances, then in the last half of the month they are panhandling. At least at the food distribution centers we know they are fed. Truly it appears that money limitations minimize the extent of addictive behavior.

                          What is really bothersome to me is a recent trend that uses children. Children are actually shared by panhandlers in order to gain more sympathy... .

                          God bless,
                          William
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                          • #14
                            I will still give money to panhandlers from time to time since, even if nine times out of ten the money will be used for sinful purpose, the tenth time it could make a positive difference in someone's life and will be used well. Just remember the parable of the woman who lost one of her ten gold coins.
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                            • #15
                              I refuse to give money to panhandlers or the homeless. I don't live in the U.S., I live in a country with quite extensive unemployment/disability benefits with a great deal of social spending. The resources are there for these people but the unfortunate reality is that the vast majority have drug or alcohol addictions for which giving money to them will only put them into the ground earlier.
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