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Cornelius

Don’t give money to panhandlers.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Lots of reasons given to give or not to give or how to give so as to be certain the gift is properly used, but shouldn't the correct answer be to listen to God? What does the Holy Spirit say to our heart? Isn't it possible that sometimes God is testing us when someone is begging for our material goods? The beggars may need nothing material, but it may be that we need to give because it is what God wants us to do for His purposes which are unknown to us?

 

What is real charity [love] according to scripture?

 

Testing the spirits is one thing but deciding who is needy is not quite the same thing and we may be tempting God when we use our own rationalizations as a basis for not giving. God knows the hearts of the panhandlers and He also knows our hearts. Are we listening to Him? Are we pleasing Him?

 

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" John 10:27

 

Are we hearing and obeying God's voice when confronted by a panhandler... or are we protecting our own pocketbook?

 

 

 

 

 

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Are we hearing and obeying God's voice when confronted by a panhandler... or are we protecting our own pocketbook?

 

Good question to ask, which would require a little self examination.

 

Generally, my reservations and discernment are an attempt to not be so naive (like giving outside a liquor store, or after seeing panhandlers peddle children, which would actually condone such action afterwards), and in keeping my left hand from knowing what my right hand is doing. There are plentiful state benefits for needy people where I live, the benefits ensure basic needs are covered. My point is, it is difficult to find people in true poverty here in America, unless we are talking about Spiritual poverty.

 

God bless,

William

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Good question to ask, which would require a little self examination.

 

Generally, my reservations and discernment are an attempt to not be so naive (like giving outside a liquor store, or after seeing panhandlers peddle children, which would actually condone such action afterwards), and in keeping my left hand from knowing what my right hand is doing. There are plentiful state benefits for needy people where I live, the benefits ensure basic needs are covered. My point is, it is difficult to find people in true poverty here in America, unless we are talking about Spiritual poverty.

 

God bless,

William

 

Of course i know about the state benefits available. Before my retirement a number of years ago I worked in a Social Security field office. The system was bad then and it is worse now. Needy people wait months and years to receive disability payments they desperately need. Of course, much of the difficulty lies in so many people applying for disability when they really will not qualify anyway. All those clog up a poor system (poor because it is man's?) so that the benefits really needy are unnecessarily delayed...

 

On the question though, I believe too many believers are not hearing or not even listening for God's input before reacting. I'm not pointing any fingers at anyone that aren't also too often directed at myself. God won't leave us hanging if we are really looking to Him rather than to ourselves for the right answer. Do we sometimes get "weary in well doing" and simply take what our natural mind considers to be the easy way? Yes, I believe that we do.

 

Isn't it better to pay out to someone who doesn't really need it than to withhold from someone that does? If we don't hear God isn't this likely to happen at least once in a while? Perhaps the one who loses the most is me because my connection with God was amiss and/or I was too busy to keep it intact.

 

 

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I try my best to give when I can. This includes when pan handlers are asking for money. I used to ignore the fact that people were asking for money and continue walking, but after meeting my fiance, my thoughts have differed. My fiance used to travel across the US by train and was completely homeless. My mind always goes to knowing that somewhere, these people have families and people that care about them. If it were someone I knew, I would hope that someone would offer to help. If I have the ability to help others, I am always more than glad to help panhandlers. I will usually offer to bring them inside and buy them some food. If I'm in a hurry, I will hand them cash and tell them to have a good day.

 

I truly believe that God would want me to help others in the best way I could- regardless of how the person is going to use the money. It might be kindness that changes someone's state of mind.

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I truly believe that God would want me to help other in the best way I could- regardless of how person is going to use the money. It might be kindness that changes someone's state of mind.

 

This is the part that can be very difficult for believers to get past. My wife and I once gave a couple cash for a bus ticket and then drove them almost a hundred miles to the nearest bus station. Later I discovered that they had not bought the ticket and they had not returned to their home as they had convinced us they were going to do. Their family confirmed that this was a scam they had pulled on other trusting people previously. They definitely used us and at the time we were very deeply hurt... but maybe God will sometime allow them to see our good intentions and they will really look toward Him. That part of their subsequent lives I do not know, but God does. Give God the glory and keep on giving. Will God run short of things to give?

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Panhandling should be discouraged. Instead of panhandling, those in need of help should be advised to join relevant groups so that they can receive funding for them to start businesses. You can find some of them eating burgers and fresh fruits instead of using the money they get to start smes.

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You can find some of them eating burgers and fresh fruits instead of using the money they get to start smes.

What is wrong with that? We need food to stay alive, don't we? Not everyone has the ability to run a business of their own. We need to help them find jobs. One way of doing this would be to provide vocational training so they can learn the skills they need to find and hold jobs.

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Panhandling should be discouraged. Instead of panhandling, those in need of help should be advised to join relevant groups so that they can receive funding for them to start businesses. You can find some of them eating burgers and fresh fruits instead of using the money they get to start smes.

 

I am not so much concerned about them eating fast food burgers, though, admittedly, that isn't the healthiest choice. No, I'd be more concerned with them spending the money on alcohol, heroin, crack, etc. Not only does that keep them locked in poverty, it destroys body and soul. As Christians, we have a mandate to care for the poor, homeless, and downtrodden. However, we have to be smart about how we do so.

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Well I would have to think that the right thing to do would be to give to them, right? Of course the points that are brought up by everyone here are all valid, and it is an interesting question to think about. If it is truly a person in need, down on their luck, the Lord would want us to help them, I do not doubt that. That is not always the case though, and the word panhandler alone just lends itself to thoughts of slime and sleeze, and you are correct we are not sure how it is being used, which is sad to say but it is a factor. I am not sure, but it certainly is a valid and relevant discussion to have, so for that, thank you for sharing.

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What does the bible say?

 

Luke 6:30

 

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

 

 

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