Edited 1 year, 9 months ago

Poll: Do you give money to homeless or people in need? (349 votes)

Of Course 8%
Occasionally 21%
Every now and then 32%
Hell nah, they are lying 40%

I'm just wondering how often others give out money to people in need. On the way home from Wendy's today, I saw two people with signs asking for money or saying homeless on them. One person didn't look like he was in need and the other I know he is actually homeless, and I gave them both money. I usually can tell when someone is lying and trying to get free money, and I don't give them anything, but other times they have a dog and I get really bummed out so I try and help out.

Do you guys give out money?

#1 Edited by falserelic (5721 posts) -

Sometimes, only when I feel like being an angel.

#2 Posted by afabs515 (1421 posts) -

I've lived in New York for so long that I have kinda stopped noticing them, as horrible as that sounds.

#3 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6115 posts) -

That moment when you have to decide whether you want to be an asshole or praise yourself. Well, I guess you're kind of an asshole either way.

#4 Posted by Morningstar (2320 posts) -


#5 Edited by Icemael (6795 posts) -

No. I have nothing but contempt for beggars. If a homeless bum were to steal from me I would respect that man far more than one who begs me for money, because the thieving man at least has some degree of ambition, guts and self-respect, whereas the beggar has nothing.

#6 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5877 posts) -

If I have a couple of dollar bills in my pocket and they ask, then yeah.

#7 Posted by devilzrule27 (1241 posts) -

If someone is holding out a bucket looking for money whether they are homeless, in need, or raising money for a cause I have a hard time not putting something in there. Even if it's just my loose change if thats all I have.

#8 Posted by Kidavenger (3858 posts) -
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#9 Posted by Jayzilla (2639 posts) -

If you really want to help, the best thing you can do is deliver food to them directly. You don't have to fall prey to using the excuse, "They will just buy booze" and then not doing anything for the rest of your life after that. Make a bag of sandwiches and hand them out to homeless people.

#10 Posted by ZeForgotten (10368 posts) -

Surprised to see that not 99% of all people here are downright shitty people.
But yeah sure, people in need of money can have a bit of coin.
The hell am I gonna spend (what amounts to) 4-10 dollars on? .. nothing.

#11 Posted by CaLe (4204 posts) -

I don't see homeless people or beggars where I live.

#12 Edited by Osaladin (2607 posts) -

I usually give through official or proven charities, and very rarely to people I see on a day to day basis. If I'm walking with some friends after a big dinner at a restaurant with left overs, I usually give that to people on the street. Also, I don't really carry cash with me.

#13 Edited by fisk0 (5060 posts) -

Sometimes, kinda try to make a judgement call if they're actually in need or not, which is obviously not all that easy. Sadly there's been a wave of beggar gangs in the past 10 years or so that go around on the subway placing glossy cards with some copy-pasted emotional story coupled with an image of a starving kid they've found on google image search asking for money. But if it looks like they're not part of some organized gang, which I guess is pretty evident when they seem visibly shamed and unconfortable with that they have to go beg for money, I tend to give them some of the spare change I occasionally have around. Which is getting rarer, since I pretty much never pay anything in cash nowadays.

#14 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

I have before. There's not alot of homeless people in my area though. If there are I never see them.

#15 Edited by Divina_Rex (365 posts) -

I'd rather give through a Charity. You never now how many homeless people are actually begging so they can eat. There are those that are simply lying. In the States I can see those people that are begging because they need the money for drugs and they start to get withdrawal sickness if they don't get money. When I travel outside of the states children will run up to you asking for money saying "they're hungry" when you can look to the sides and see their parents who, not just minutes ago, rushed them forwards telling them to go ask "that one".

You just need to be sure that your benevolence is actually doing what is supposed to in this world. We'd all like to think that all these beggars are good people but down on their luck. We'd like to think that all these charities are actually giving money to those who need it. The world is insidious and you need to recognize that not all is good in the world.

#16 Edited by Sploder (918 posts) -

Nah, I only carry a card with me, no change.

#17 Posted by Tireyo (6712 posts) -

Sometimes, depending on where they are at. On the side of the road begging, then no. Someone who works for a living that you see everyday, and they are starving themselves because they are on the verge over losing their house if they don't have a $200 payment in time, then sure!

#18 Posted by laserguy (474 posts) -

I only give money to them if they have a sign that say's thank you and godbless. I was homeless once.

#19 Edited by Jams (3043 posts) -

Don't carry cash on me, but all the beggars I see around where I live are meth heads. They'll also stick their sign up their shirt and start walking the opposite direction when they see a cop. There was one really old guy that just looked like a down and out vet that I've seen once. He looked like he was getting almost everyone to stop for him, so that's good at least. My dad once seen a guy in a wheel chair on the corner that had a sign saying he was a vet. Then a truck pulled up and he got up and loaded his wheelchair in the back and took off with his friend. My dad was so mad that day I don't think he'll ever give money. I had my own experience with some guy asking for money. All of a sudden I see him drop his sign and haul ass to a dark corner under some columns. He was hunched over answering his cellphone.

#20 Posted by laserguy (474 posts) -

I knew this old guy who had a parrot tatted on his face.

#21 Edited by Turambar (7127 posts) -

Never give money, only food.

#22 Edited by Brodehouse (10469 posts) -

Absolutely not. I will give money to charitable organizations but I will not incentivize begging. Never give money to anyone you wouldn't have perform work for you. If you wouldn't trust them enough to work on your behalf, how can you possibly trust them enough to spend your money?

If you would give them money to perform work... do that! Just like you are given money to perform work, and just like you give everyone else money to perform work.

#23 Edited by Dot (164 posts) -

If they're not all up in my face about it, sure, I'll give them some change. I never give anything to those that stand outside a store and start begging as soon as I take a step outside.

#24 Posted by BaneFireLord (3081 posts) -

Absolutely not. I will give money to charitable organizations but I will not incentivize begging.

This, 100%.

#25 Edited by Toastburner_B (209 posts) -

I don't usually have cash on me, but when I do I think about it. Most of the panhandlers around here hang out by the exits to the mall, which I drive past on the way to work. Unfortunately, I've come to the conclusions that most of them are just working the angle, and are not actually in need. I find it hard to believe that you are starving and need help when you have a large Starbucks coffee stashed behind your backpack so that the people who are stopping to give you money can't see it every day when I drive past.

#26 Posted by byterunner (330 posts) -
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#27 Posted by Largo6661 (353 posts) -

Yes I do, and i couldn't give a shit what they spend it on. At the end of the day if they want to spend it on alcohol to ease the pain of being homeless so be it, who am I to judge. I also give to charities I trust like Shelter. And in my opinion in regard to fake beggars I would rather give money to 10 fakes than ignore one person who actually needed it. In the UK (at least in my area) begging is fairly uncommon whats more common is Big Issue salesman and I always buy one of them. And I'm surprised by the general shitty atmosphere of this thread, to those people who think begging is disgusting let hope you are never put in such a desperate situation.

#28 Posted by Jay_Ray (1186 posts) -

Nope, I rarely carry cash let alone change.

#29 Posted by Jace (1134 posts) -

@icemael said:

No. I have nothing but contempt for beggars. If a homeless bum were to steal from me I would respect that man far more than one who begs me for money, because the thieving man at least has some degree of ambition, guts and self-respect, whereas the beggar has nothing.

So you'd rather give to someone who sees themselves as better than you, more important than you, and more deserving of your possessions than you; as opposed to someone humble enough to beg?

I've think I've seen it all now.

#30 Posted by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

I donate to charities. I donate to skilled street musicians. I don't give money to beggars. I donate to the homeless shelter so that beggar has a place to sleep.

#31 Posted by martyarf (251 posts) -

Absolutely not. I will give money to charitable organizations but I will not incentivize begging. Never give money to anyone you wouldn't have perform work for you. If you wouldn't trust them enough to work on your behalf, how can you possibly trust them enough to spend your money?

If you would give them money to perform work... do that! Just like you are given money to perform work, and just like you give everyone else money to perform work.

Astoundingly dumb.

#32 Posted by Patman99 (1634 posts) -

Where I live the homeless people are extremely forward about asking for money. I once had a lady follow me around to block, asking every now and then for money. I never gave her any but that didn't stop her from asking.

I used to give occasionally give money to beggars. However, once I gave money to one woman. I then walked into the store, bought what I needed, and then left. Upon exiting, the same woman asked again for money. I told her I already gave her money but she argued that I hadn't and that she has never seen me before. Also, it seems that every beggar has some bullshit story that isn't even close to believable. E.g. "My car is broken down on the next street over and I need $5 for gas." OR "My wife broke her leg and she is waiting in the car on the next street over and I need a few bucks for the ambulance." Sounds like bullshit to me. Most of the time, you see the same person and they tell you the same bullshit story. At the very least, tell me the truth. You want drugs or alcohol, then just say it. Don't bullshit me.

As such, I have pretty much stopped giving money to any of them. Plus, there are so many that I might be asked 4 or 5 times on a 1km walk. I'd need to start begging at the end of that walk if I gave a little bit of money to everyone who asked me.

#33 Posted by colorbrandon (176 posts) -

I encourage anyone in this thread to read both Scratch Beginnings and Nickel and Dimed.

But as for me, I think begging is parasitic. I don't give charities money nor do I give it to the homeless. I do this on principle because I've qualified for TANF and other government sponsored programs before. The United States spends too much money on welfare. There are so many chances to get some work. The people who don't try are the ones who shouldn't get hand outs.

#34 Posted by martyarf (251 posts) -

This thread is a perfect example of why poor people shouldn't ask for money, they should just take it.

#35 Posted by MattyFTM (14589 posts) -

Not just random people begging on the street because I don't know if they'll spend it on drugs or booze. By funding someones addictions I'd just be making their shitty situation even worse. I'll happily support charities and organizations set up to genuinely help people in shitty situations like that, but directly giving them money causes more issues than it solves. And I'll never ignore someone who talks to me asking for money or anything. It really pisses me off when the majority of people walk past them and pretend they don't exist. They're human beings, show them some decency. It takes two seconds to say "no, sorry mate". Don't just ignore them.

#36 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6497 posts) -

"You don't give money to the bums on the corner with a sign bleeding from their gums? Talkin' 'bout you don't support a crackhead, what you think happens to the money from your taxes?"

Nah but seriously I do it occassionally but I'm more likely to give to a street performer since they're actually doing something.

#37 Edited by Ares42 (2954 posts) -

I don't carry cash.

#38 Posted by Nasos100 (762 posts) -


#40 Edited by Disaya (292 posts) -

I rarely carry cash on me, the most I ever have is some change which I have in case I forget my card for the bus. I been told it's better not to give them the money and instead go buy them like food and something small that they may need, but every once in a while I might give some of the change I have, it depends I guess.

#41 Posted by Haziqonfire (250 posts) -

If I have spare change, usually. I used to pass by a lot when I was going to Uni in Toronto, but since I graduated I haven't been down as frequently.

It's kind of harder now to do so considering I'm tight for money and unemployed, but if I do have some change I give it to them. What they do with it is up to them, but I'm giving them change hoping they use it for something like food rather than drugs.

#42 Edited by Akyho (1811 posts) -

@kaos_cracker Let me tell you my experience with homeless people.

I walk past a woman begging, she has a sign saying homeless need money for food. She was trying to get my attention and I had headphones in, I turned and saw her but as soon as she clocked a guy in a business suits ignored me I went "oh all right."

I got on my bus at the bus station after doing my shopping for food. I spot the homeless woman going into the same food shop as I came out. She comes out with a box of crisps and a bunch of junk food, this is a little weird.

She then comes to my bus....she gets on....this is weird.....she pays for her bus fair and it comes to £1.80 ($3.40) so she is not going very far. We start off and we come to the next stop which was 2 minutes away from the bus station, it is a 5 min walk...she gets off...WHAT THE FUCK! I CANT EVEN DO THAT!! I CANT PAY £1.80 FOR A POINTLESS JOURNEY LIKES THIS!! AND SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING HOMELESS!!

Another time I was in the city, busy 4 way junction. A man has a blanket he is begging on this corner. I see him talking to another man....he gets up the other guys sits down. They have swapped positions.

I then hear "I am just going to Starbucks for some soup, catch you in 6 hours after your shift. ok bye!"......MOTHER FUCKERS GOING TO STARBUCKS FOR SOUP! I CANT AFFORD THAT! AND THEY HAVE A FUCKING SHIFT SYSTEM FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE!! FUCK EM! FUCK EM ALL!!!

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Now here is the thing. When I had my first job at 16 in a DIY the back of the shop shared with the same Foodshop I shopped at as the "Homeless" woman. So there is bins with almost to out of date food.

This guy just put his Jacket in the bin to hide it away, then sits down in the rain pull his shirt over himself and starts begging. A guy catches him and has a talk with him, the beggar is honest about not being homeless and making tons lots of money. He will sit their for a few hours making £20 and hour, then fish his jacket out of the bin before the bin men come and empty it.

Folks even buy small dogs and puppies to up their revenue.

Often is was a mess from it being broken into by REAL homeless people. Countless times I had to shoo away homeless people from the bins or clean up the mess. I saw these peoples faces.....I could see they were homeless and I NEVER saw them on the street begging. Instead these people hide away for safety and make sure they guarantee themselves food by going through bins, they are not the same people that sit on the street 12hours and beg.

#43 Posted by Jamer91 (147 posts) -

Having worked in a homeless shelter for the past 3 years I know all of the local community meals, shelters and employment centers. I keep a card with me in my wallet that has all of this information so if a person ever asks for change I give them what I have (which isn't usually much) and also give them as much information as I know which hopefully they can use to move forward in their life.

#44 Edited by PhilipDuck (625 posts) -

There is help out there, these people are just lazy... Though if there is someone trying and selling a shit newspaper or something i'll give them some money and not ask for the paper, people who just look of their face lying on the path asking for money.. No way!

#45 Posted by Levio (1798 posts) -

I wish I knew which homeless people were good people and which were awful people. That would make the decision to give them money a million times easier.

#46 Posted by Jamer91 (147 posts) -

@akyho: Do you know if the woman had some mental or physical illness that prevented her from walking far (even if it's 2 minutes away). I fully agree with you that there are people who take advantage of peoples kindness by begging on the street but there are also many more who simply don't know how to start moving in the right direction and rely on begging to survive. Since it can be hard to judge between someone who wants to take advantage of peoples kindness and someone who truly needs a helping hand the best thing you can do is educate yourself on local programs that help the homeless move past their barriers whether that's mental illness, addiction, physical illness and more. that way even if you have nothing to give in terms of money, you've given them the resources they need to take the first step in improving their situation.

#47 Posted by rachelepithet (1579 posts) -

Man, fuck Ann Rand; pretending to be homeless and making triple the minimum wage just standing around is the type of rational self interest badassery I can get behind. Good for them.

#48 Edited by Jamer91 (147 posts) -

@levio: you don't necessarily need to give money to make a difference. If you learn about the different programs in your area and give that information to someone who is begging that could make a serious impact. an awful person wouldn't care if you gave them a card with all the local community meals on it. a good person would be grateful for it. In my area all of the poverty assistance programs are linked and so each organization has access to each others services. I wouldn't be surprised if your location was the same and as a result telling them where to get a free meal could get them involved in other poverty assistance programs.

#49 Edited by jkz (4067 posts) -


Of course, if I have any to give

#50 Posted by Moonshadow101 (596 posts) -

Yes, but that's because I live in the suburbs. Whenever I go into Manhattan I pack a few extra bucks, mostly for subway performers but sometimes for straight-up beggars. If I actually lived there I imagine I'd be inoculated pretty quickly.