Social Question

_Whitetigress's avatar

Can you spare any change?

Asked by _Whitetigress (4354 points ) August 12th, 2012

When you see a homeless person do you give that person change (currency wise) or change (criticism wise) or perhaps both?

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20 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Sometimes. Sometimes a dollar, sometimes leftovers I was taking home from a restaurant. I have given an umbrella to someone homeless standing in the rain.

jordym84's avatar

Whenever I can I give my spare change to the homeless. I’m new to NYC and find it really hard to ignore homeless people and it breaks my heart when I can’t help them, though my friends are trying hard to break me of that habit secretly, I doubt they’ll succeed, but I have to give them props for trying lol I told myself that once I’m financially stable enough I’m going to set aside a certain amount each week to give to the ones that seem to really need it, though I’m not sure what criteria I’m going to use to judge who needs it and who doesn’t…

Judi's avatar

If I have something in my pocket and it’s safe I always give. My mantra in these situations is, “it’s the condition of MY heart that matters, not theirs.”

jordym84's avatar

@Judi Wow I love that!! “it’s the condition of MY heart that matters, not theirs.” I’ll have to keep it mind as I’m sure it’ll have many applications in my life, and not just as it relates to giving money to the homeless…

Judi's avatar

@jordym84 , my mamas wisdom. Not mine. Just my precious inheritance. She died 2 years ago in December. She didn’t leave behind much money, but she left a legacy of a generous heart that I hope I leave to my children and grand children as well.

jordym84's avatar

@Judi Moms always know best and I’m learning that as I get older…I only wish I had come to this conclusion when I was a teen, but hey, it’s never too late.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I used not to give to people begging on the street, until I visited Thailand where I witnessed the native population giving amounts to beggars that were significant to them but pennies to me. It reminded me of the story of the widow’s mite.

I have little myself now, and I give when I have it available.

Nullo's avatar

No change here; I don’t really use cash, and so don’t have any.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake dana prahjna paramita

I believe your true nature has ripened.

augustlan's avatar

When I can, I give money. And cigarettes, believe it or not.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Practically never. At least not in the US. I used to work in downtown Atlanta, where there were panhandlers galore. How do you decide to give to ONE and not another one? I would rather give to an organization – food kitchen, shelter – than to an individual.

The other issue I have with giving to individuals is that I doubt they will take my money and do something worthwhile. More likely they will go into a liquor store or gamble it in 3-card-monty.

In any event, the answer is NO.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Money? No, at least not in a long time. It’s probably been years since I’ve seen a homeless person though. Street buskers get my money. Those peeps are talented and attempting to earn a living, or at least some pocket change.

There used to be a guy that hung out at the local convenience store in the summers. I don’t know if he was homeless or not. I just assumed that his bode didn’t have air conditioning, so he’d ride his bike over to it and hang out inside when it got really hot or in the overhang of the building. Whenever I saw him, I’d buy him a soft sandwich and a drink (he had no teeth). I haven’t seen him in a year. I hope that he is okay and just got shooed away when there was a management change at the store.

Judi's avatar

My mom used to put together little packets with McDonalds coupons, bus tokens and a list of shelters and places to get a free meal and/or a shower in her town. She would sell them at her church for what it cost her. People could keep them in their car or purse and hand them out instead of cash.
I’m with Auggie though. If someone smokes and is out of cigarettes, I don’t mind if that’s what they used my money for. I used to smoke and I know that when you’re so stressed for cash that you have to beg, it’s probably the hardest time in your life to quit.

downtide's avatar

I give a little change when I can and while I was still smoking I would also often give them a cigarette.

this_velvet_glove's avatar

Money, food, cigarettes.

bookish1's avatar

I give money, if I am not broke to the point of borrowing money from my friends (like right now), and I always give cigarettes, because of what @Judi said.

boxer3's avatar

I prefer to give food if it’s an option. If I have change though I generally hand it over.

Symbeline's avatar

@augustlan I believe it. I give smokes to homeless people too, they usually seem pretty happy about it.

I give change when I can. Sometimes I stand around and talk with them a bit. Homeless people are really lonely. Made friends with this one guy recently, and he even said to come see him if someone’s pissing me off or threatening me lol. He’s all like, you know all the places I’m usually panhandling at. I see him around very often, I guess he’s our local bum. Sometimes I wish I could do more, problem is, sometimes I’m the one who needs spare change. XD

rooeytoo's avatar

Sometimes, but more often I will take them to the nearest fast food place and buy them something to eat.

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