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Edited 1 year, 3 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?

#51 Posted by Ekami (261 posts) -

perform work perform work perform work perform work

#52 Posted by Ekami (261 posts) -

perform work? perform work!

#53 Edited by Hunter5024 (5691 posts) -

I think people make a bigger deal out of this than it is. If I have some change, I'll give it to them, because it means nothing to me. Yes they probably use it on drugs, but who cares? That's their decision.

#54 Posted by triviaman09 (802 posts) -

I was in a really great mood and feeling pretty generous late one night, so I went out to buy some beer. There was a homeless man asking for money outside the market and after initially turning down his request, I decide to give him the two dollars in my wallet on my way out. After all, two dollars is pretty insignificant to me and could be the difference between this man eating or not. So I give him my two dollars and he walks away from the supermarket saying "I made 45 dollars today" loudly enough for me to hear. For some reason, this has entirely soured me on giving to people begging ever since. What two dollars means to me hasn't changed. The fact that I have no idea what people are going to do with this money hasn't changed. I just felt like the social contract was violated in some way.

From then on, it's been "I'm sorry, no." I'll argue all day for social welfare programs and I think the idea that the poor are just lazy is one of the most reprehensible and self-serving ideas prevalent in Western society, but I don't know that I can give money to people on the street.

#55 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4354 posts) -

Hell no

#56 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I hand them dole and rent allowance pamphlets.

#57 Posted by Animasta (14692 posts) -

I think people make a bigger deal out of this than it is. If I have some change, I'll give it to them, because it means nothing to me. Yes they probably use it on drugs, but who cares? That's their decision.

yeah. I gave a quarter to a guy after getting a soda from a mini mart because it's just a quarter yo

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#58 Posted by csl316 (8704 posts) -

I used to by my work, until I realized I'd have to revise my budget if I did every day.

#59 Edited by Osaladin (2521 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.

I got you Brother Ali.

#60 Posted by Jimbo (9815 posts) -

None where I live, but I did last time I was in town. A girl that was passing by said to me "You're a helpful man, innit?" so I glared at her for talking like an idiot. I think the two deeds probably cancelled each other out.

#61 Posted by JasonR86 (9710 posts) -

I'm really cynical on this topic. I do mental health therapy with a lot of people who are often very poor and homeless. As such I've heard a lot and am no becoming ever more cynical and that cynicism is making me biased. Which isn't fair because not everyone fits the patterns I've seen. But there it is. When I'm not being a professional my experience as a professional has effected my thought pattern in my personal life.

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#62 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3412 posts) -

Nah learned my lesson when a female holding a sign was asking money for food for her son. Next think I knew she was sitting right across the bar I was at later that night hammering it up.

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#63 Posted by Legion_ (1287 posts) -

It's rare. However, if I see someone who's totally fucked up from drugs, I tend to buy them a bottle of water and give them a few words, and buy whatever they're selling.

#64 Posted by Blastroid (257 posts) -

I'm a gamer that likes Natural Selection.

#65 Posted by WickedFather (1733 posts) -

I give them money. It's like fattening a goose for Christmas. Hobo meat is good eatin once ya burns off the dirt and layers of newspaper.

#66 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

I will give to groups, not people. Not after a local news station caught pan handlers who aren't homeless and makes so much money from it that they didn't need real jobs.

#67 Posted by mikey87144 (1777 posts) -

Growing up in NY whenever you see them on trains begging for $5 you learn from a more experienced subway user that he most likely is a crackhead. So I pick and choose.

#68 Posted by mikethekilla (328 posts) -

I used to when I was younger but I don't now because I found out that you just can't trust everybody to do right.

#69 Edited by Metric_Outlaw (1172 posts) -

I've bought water and food for homeless people before. The only time I've given money is when a homeless guy told me a great joke so I gave him $5. I do give money to local fire departments and stuff when they're collecting at stop lights.

#70 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@jace said:

@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.

To be fair, from what I've read of his posts, he must be an Adonisian mountain of a man to look down on so many different groups of people at once.

#71 Posted by ShockD (2401 posts) -

I've been lied by one. Needless to say I don't give money anymore to hobos no matter how pity they might appear.

#72 Posted by Brendan (7813 posts) -

I never carry cash anymore, so its a hard market for the homeless.

#73 Posted by jsnyder82 (735 posts) -

Kinda bums me out that 40% of you think they're liars.

Every once in a while I will give what I can, but that's mostly because I don't carry much cash on me.

#74 Edited by Milkman (16811 posts) -

If I have some change, I'll give it to them. I'm not going to give them a 20 or some shit. I don't see why this is such a big deal for some people. Who cares? I'm not going to miss the money and I couldn't give a fuck what they spend it on.

#75 Edited by Turtlebird95 (2394 posts) -

I'd probably spare a few bucks to the homeless, problem is there's really no homeless people in the town I live by. Occasionally I see a "homeless" person or two camped out by Walmart during Christmas time, but I'm pretty sure they aren't actually homeless.

#76 Posted by StarvingGamer (8255 posts) -

Homeless? Generally no.

People in need? Every once in a while, albeit indirectly.

#77 Edited by TheMasterDS (2066 posts) -

I've never seen a homeless person before. I wouldn't give money to them if I had though as I don't think I have money to spare on other people. Not to say I won't make dumb purchases but they're purchases, I get something out of them, they're not going into the wind.

Oh, also, obviously, I don't carry cash.

#78 Posted by DarthOrange (3864 posts) -

Man the results of this poll and some of these responses really bum me out :(

#79 Posted by captain_clayman (3321 posts) -

I give money to people who sell stuff on craigslist, and I gotta say, sometimes they definitely look like they're in need. Not homeless, but not all that far from it. But then occasionally I'll buy a Sony Trinitron off of a guy as he's unloading his new 60' LG into his house.

To be honest though, I live in the suburbs and don't run into a lot of homeless people, and on the off-chance I do, I don't have cash to spare (I just don't carry much with me, sometimes none at all)

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#80 Posted by ajamafalous (12004 posts) -

No, because I live in the middle of Austin. I walk by anywhere between 5 and 15 of the same bums every day and they're always fucking obnoxious. There are (a separate) 5-10 that live in the alley right outside my apartment and they are literally always fucking drunk and yelling; they'll start at like 10pm and literally just yell at each other until 3am. It's the fucking worst.

#81 Posted by kerse (2114 posts) -

I don't usually have cash on me, but if I do have a couple bucks on me I will.

#82 Posted by crazyleaves (646 posts) -

As someone who has benefited from the kindness of strangers, of course.

#83 Posted by Demoskinos (14851 posts) -

I'd feel okay donating to organizations that help the homeless and needy people but I'm never going to straight up give money to any of them. So no.

#84 Posted by Hunter5024 (5691 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

I'm really cynical on this topic. I do mental health therapy with a lot of people who are often very poor and homeless. As such I've heard a lot and am no becoming ever more cynical and that cynicism is making me biased. Which isn't fair because not everyone fits the patterns I've seen. But there it is. When I'm not being a professional my experience as a professional has effected my thought pattern in my personal life.

This reminds me of my dad. He's a drug counselor, so he hears stories from his clients all the time about how they would beg to get enough money together to sustain their addiction. And yet he always give them money, and says something along the lines of "Enjoy your drugs" because he can always tell, and he thinks its funny. (He is a bit of a jerk.)

#85 Posted by Tobiass (150 posts) -

Socialism

#86 Posted by JasonR86 (9710 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

I'm really cynical on this topic. I do mental health therapy with a lot of people who are often very poor and homeless. As such I've heard a lot and am no becoming ever more cynical and that cynicism is making me biased. Which isn't fair because not everyone fits the patterns I've seen. But there it is. When I'm not being a professional my experience as a professional has effected my thought pattern in my personal life.

This reminds me of my dad. He's a drug counselor, so he hears stories from his clients all the time about how they would beg to get enough money together to sustain their addiction. And yet he always give them money, and says something along the lines of "Enjoy your drugs" because he can always tell, and he thinks its funny. (He is a bit of a jerk.)

Well I'M not a jerk. But it is really hard to not get cynical doing that sort of work. By the time I get around to retiring, which I'm really far from, I'll probably be awful. The way I look at it I help the needy through my work. That way I know for sure that what I'm offering is being used in a beneficial way (or at least I hope it's beneficial) and not in a way that is not in how I'm intending.

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#87 Edited by NTM (7383 posts) -

No, because I don't know their story, and honestly, I don't care to ask, though I have on more than one account wondered why they're there, and what they would spend the money on that I'd give them. Whether you care or not about giving away money, it's probably not a great idea to just blindly hand out money to a person you instantly feel bad for, if you feel bad for them. I chose the last one, but that's not necessarily my choice, 'cause I don't believe all of them are lying, but I wouldn't personally know that. I always come to this conclusion it seems with just about everything, but I wish we lived in a Star Trek-like world. Money wouldn't be a problem, and so we wouldn't have homeless people; they'd be thriving just as many others. Yeah, a little too much wishful thinking.

#88 Edited by troll93 (388 posts) -

I do it through some of the charities that I support, means that they can't spend the money that I am trying to give to them on grog or drugs, but on food and shelter. Also, i like to do things in a structured way, giving money out willy nilly is not the way for me.

#89 Edited by AzlamOrlandu (27 posts) -

I'm trying to recall the last time I saw a homeless person dead on the street. I went to school in downtown San Francisco for 4 years and although I saw plenty of people crapping in the streets, I never saw anyone die from starvation.

#90 Edited by TruthTellah (9129 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

@jasonr86 said:

I'm really cynical on this topic. I do mental health therapy with a lot of people who are often very poor and homeless. As such I've heard a lot and am no becoming ever more cynical and that cynicism is making me biased. Which isn't fair because not everyone fits the patterns I've seen. But there it is. When I'm not being a professional my experience as a professional has effected my thought pattern in my personal life.

This reminds me of my dad. He's a drug counselor, so he hears stories from his clients all the time about how they would beg to get enough money together to sustain their addiction. And yet he always give them money, and says something along the lines of "Enjoy your drugs" because he can always tell, and he thinks its funny. (He is a bit of a jerk.)

Yeah, this reminds me of one of my friends who used to work in the medical industry managing insurance expenses, and after years of seeing what she describes as excessive abuse and untoward activity, she now trusts conspiracy theories involving medical stories more than any medical news. For example, she believes the online theory that the actress Angelina Jolie was actually paid millions of dollars by drug and testing companies to get her recent double mastectomy and convince more women to consider getting tested for a rare gene related to increased risk for breast cancer.

If you see a lot of impropriety, it's easy to get cynical and sometimes even extreme in your distrust.

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#91 Posted by DukesT3 (1917 posts) -

I usually do, and when I can most just ask for some food so if I'm already at a gas station I'll get them a sandwich and a drink or whatever I'm around.

#92 Edited by dudeglove (7867 posts) -

In Moscow I see the exact same beggars and buskers in the exact same spots for the past five years and almost nothing has changed. There's always at least a violinist by the underpass near Red Square, and there's always that old lady chanting some idiotic blessings with her withered hand stretched out at the exit to that supermarket. Don't think for one moment that you can't just squat outside some big store or metro station and not believe that a lot of these people are flat out being exploited, or giving kickbacks to someone (police, mafia or whoever) so they can stand there and pretend to be like the old guy from the Small Council in Game of Thrones.

The folk I see regularly I don't consider homeless, and the "in need" notion is misplaced. How so? Because they must have a home otherwise they wouldn't have been able to keep this activity up for so long, and the "in need" aspect is most likely to be a horrifying case of "I'm being abused by a family member or someone in my community to essentially be a slave", so why pray tell would you give money to that?

That's not to say there aren't beggars out there, but they don't last long, for the reasons I've already mentioned i.e. someone has booted them away for not knowing the 'rules'.

#93 Edited by jerseyscum (875 posts) -

Sadly, the overwhelming majority of the hardcore on-the-street homeless have serious psychiatric or substance abuse problems. I know that guy standing outside the liquor store is going to use any change for either heroin, crack or booze. Let's not kid ourselves.

There's now only one place for the hardcore mentally ill to receive treatment and psychiatric medication in America: Jail. We've slashed funding for mental heath treatment in this country and this is the result. Sickening.

#94 Edited by leebmx (2244 posts) -

Yep, if I have some I will drop them a quid. Been there myself and I know what it is like. I really don't care if they spend it on crack or on a sandwich. I know it is better to give money to a homeless charity, and I try to do both, but that is long term and someone sitting on the street needs short-term.

It helps if they are respectful, friendly or have some entertainment going on. The worst is when you only have a few pence on you, drop that in someone's hand and then they complain, just makes me want to smack them.

#95 Edited by EXTomar (4745 posts) -

I used too when I carried spare cash and change. Now I use electronic far more and find myself with mostly empty pockets and nothing to donate.

#96 Posted by Nightriff (5094 posts) -

A simple no would work for me but sure, they are lyin' works

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#97 Posted by Pie_Romancer (7 posts) -

I don't since I hardly ever have cash on me, but there's a guy that hangs out by McDonalds that I'll buy some food for every once in a while.

#98 Posted by SpoogeMcduck (191 posts) -

Nope, I'll give to a charity thats designed to help the people truly in need. There's a bunch of organizations that can do more with the change than the people standing around with cardboard signs.

#99 Posted by CornBREDX (5315 posts) -

No, not directly.

I didn't vote because I don't think they're "lieing" per say but I don't want to support whatever drugs or alcohol they will spend it on (and most of them will, don't fool yourself). I give to charities (like Child's play or the EFF) and foundations that help the needy. I feel this is more helpful as long as the charities actually do what they say they do then I feel it's a good cause. Feels more productive than giving it to someone on the street.

I live in Austin Texas and beggars come from all over the US to here just because Austin is considered a place with giving people, I guess. I don't know why really, but homeless and other forms of nomads come here and beg on almost every street. There's a lot of homeless people that come here to beg, is what I'm saying, and they aren't from here. Just an observation, though.

#100 Edited by Godlyawesomeguy (6398 posts) -

I don't because I haven't had a disposable income until recently and there aren't many homeless people begging where I live so I don't encounter them often but my mother will usually buy them food or a drink, which I guess is better than just handing them money.