Donate to homeless?

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snackdog
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Donate to homeless?

Post by snackdog » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm

This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?

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cookymonster
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by cookymonster » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:12 pm

Donate to organizations that support the homeless. Don't give directly to the people on the street.

The most obvious reason is that you're supporting drug use and crime, as well as the panhandling itself.

Even giving food and clothing to people on the street is potentially dangerous, as it is something for which the recipient could be targeted and fought for.

Community organizations are much better at determining how to distribute resources than individual private citizens. Giving money to people holding up a sign only perpetuates the problem.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:13 pm

As long as you understand that in the vast majority of cases you are just feeding their addition(s) (drugs and/or alcohol).

If you really want to help donate to the local shelters and/or outreach programs or even volunteer.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:28 pm

If you follow some of these 'homeless' you'll see them getting into their Cadillacs with the loot they collected that day. Drop your money into a Salvation Army kettle or donate to other reputable charities instead.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Nowizard
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Nowizard » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:32 pm

The comments about supporting drug or criminal use are extremely common and almost certainly correct in many cases. However, there are people who are solidly in need and with no other way to obtain a few dollars than by panhandling. These are people and to stop and inquire a bit could result in discovering they are not addicts or criminals but would appreciate your contribution. The "common knowledge" can also raise a question of whether the person using it is primarily alleviating any potential guilt for not giving to a panhandler or a charity supporting the homeless.

Tim

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Kenkat
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Kenkat » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:36 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:28 pm
If you follow some of these 'homeless' you'll see them getting into their Cadillacs with the loot they collected that day. Drop your money into a Salvation Army kettle or donate to other reputable charities instead.
I once saw a “homeless” person get out of a late model Toyota, far newer than my Toyota, and set up shop on the corner. They were apparently being dropped off for work. There are lots of charities out there that administer aid directly to those who need it and in such a way as to improve their situation. I would go that route instead.

pennylane
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by pennylane » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:39 pm

Don’t give money to the homeless. Just wait for them to get so desperate that they snatch an inocent persons purse or they’re in your backyard trying to get into your house.

Seriously, what difference does it make to you what they do with the $5 they spent 4 hours panhandling for?

KlangFool
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:47 pm

snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm
This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?
snackdog,

One day, a homeless person standing on the traffic light in front of my car. It was cold and it started to rain. I handed $20 to the person and ask him to take a break from the rain. He headed off to the McDonald next to the traffic light.

I usually donate to the local food bank. But, in this case, if my $20 can get this person away from the rain and get a hot coffee in the McDonald, I believe that I had done something good.

KlangFool

RightGuard
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by RightGuard » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:48 pm

pennylane wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:39 pm

Seriously, what difference does it make to you what they do with the $5 they spent 4 hours panhandling for?
Well, they don't need my money for Steel Reserve, I need to maintain my own supply. :wink:

But hey this is the internet age, a little probing into various corners will surprise you with various practices out there. Or maybe not.

Everyone is free to do what they want. I give my money and more importantly my time directly in ways I know will have immediate direct benefit.

Throwing a few coins is almost the easy way out.

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Will do good
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Will do good » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:48 pm

One time I saw a nice late model car in front of me stop and pick up 2 "homeless" people at different street corners, I guess that how some homeless people goes to work. What a scam.

jucor
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by jucor » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:52 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:28 pm
If you follow some of these 'homeless' you'll see them getting into their Cadillacs with the loot they collected that day. Drop your money into a Salvation Army kettle or donate to other reputable charities instead.
I volunteer with a community-based organization that has as clients a number of homeless people -- while a very few panhandlers might be "rich" scammers, the vast majority of them and the homeless in general are not. Many are fighting various demons, alcohol and drug addictions, mental health issues, etc. Many are poorly prepared to deal with the adversity of an unexpected bill, and do not have the education, resources, or connections most on this list take for granted.

I have been reminded on a weekly basis that I am blessed, and that the spirit and compassion of many who are in circumstances I can barely fathom are in many cases far stronger than I can understand.

Last week I was working with some folks to get access to library cards -- earlier that day a friend had passed after a massive stroke and I was struggling -- I thought I was hiding it, but that night two guys who were in really bad points in their own lives that were far worse than my grief and sadness asked me if I was ok, and offered sympathy.

On this board we are very fortunate. I choose to be compassionate towards those who are not, even if they are not model citizens. Contributing cash to an individual might not be in your comfort zone, but you can treat panhandlers like humans, asking them if they need a meal or gloves or socks. You might get cursed at, but you might bring light to a dark day to someone.

moehoward
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by moehoward » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:01 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:47 pm
snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm
This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?
snackdog,

One day, a homeless person standing on the traffic light in front of my car. It was cold and it started to rain. I handed $20 to the person and ask him to take a break from the rain. He headed off to the McDonald next to the traffic light.

I usually donate to the local food bank. But, in this case, if my $20 can get this person away from the rain and get a hot coffee in the McDonald, I believe that I had done something good.

KlangFool

I had someone ask for money because they needed food. I've actually gone into a McDonalds are something similar and purchased what they wanted. I don't mind doing that but most have said they just wanted money.

badger42
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by badger42 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:05 pm

We have a number of Roma / Gypsy panhandlers locally.

They are dropped off and picked up in nice late model luxury cars.

They usually have babies or young children, who are oddly quiet (drugged?)

You will frequently see the same woman with different babies (like, clearly different ages) on different days.

They're mostly ignorable in parking lots, but a real pain on public transit. And they are surprisingly successful - I've seen them get multiple $10-$20 donations in a pretty short period of time.

Why am I saying this? Because professional panhandlers are totally a thing. If you want to help somebody, work through a reputable charity, or help somebody you personally know or whose story you really know. Otherwise you're actually doing something worse than just lighting the money on fire, you're supporting professional beggars who are downright pestilential.

Also, re just buying things - at least for the local pros (who like to hang out around supermarkets), they will return whatever you bought them for cash.

gretah
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by gretah » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:08 pm

I donate to the food bank.

If I'm in my car and someone has a dog, I hand them a baggie with high quality kibble.

On foot, it's scary being approached by most homeless guys since I'm a gal.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:16 pm

Local PD tell us never donate to a panhandler.
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Toons
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Toons » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:23 pm

In the past ,I have purchased cases of canned foods from Sams club and delivered them to a Homeless shelter.
Give it a thought
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

MathWizard
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by MathWizard » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:24 pm

I don't like to pass them by, but we provide hot meals to the local homeless shelter.
I don't have enough money to solve the problem, so that seems a much more efficient
use of the money.

averagedude
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by averagedude » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:28 pm

Where i live, there are signs at some intersections that say no soliciting and has a number for these people to call if they need help. There is help available (food,clothing,shelter) for these people if they are 100% capable and willing to get themselves out of their situation.

KlangFool
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:33 pm

moehoward wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:01 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:47 pm
snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm
This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?
snackdog,

One day, a homeless person standing on the traffic light in front of my car. It was cold and it started to rain. I handed $20 to the person and ask him to take a break from the rain. He headed off to the McDonald next to the traffic light.

I usually donate to the local food bank. But, in this case, if my $20 can get this person away from the rain and get a hot coffee in the McDonald, I believe that I had done something good.

KlangFool

I had someone ask for money because they needed food. I've actually gone into a McDonalds are something similar and purchased what they wanted. I don't mind doing that but most have said they just wanted money.
I was in my car at the traffic light. That was not a viable option.

KlangFool

aristotelian
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:47 pm

I will give the guy on the street the change in my pocket or even a dollar if he seems polite and I'm in a good mood. I will also give larger contributions to reputable nonprofits. Both/and.

JBTX
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by JBTX » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:06 pm

pennylane wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:39 pm
Don’t give money to the homeless. Just wait for them to get so desperate that they snatch an inocent persons purse or they’re in your backyard trying to get into your house.

Seriously, what difference does it make to you what they do with the $5 they spent 4 hours panhandling for?
FWIW, we had a policeman come to our downtown (major metro area) workplace to discuss safety issues. He strongly advised against giving to panhandlers. You pull out your wallet or purse and they may take it,,or worse yet you can get injured in the process. In some cases they will hang back and follow you to your car in a parking garage. While I figured it was probably not a great idea I didn't know that it was that dangerous.

pejp
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by pejp » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:11 pm

[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] I don’t give money to them under any circumstances. It really is better spent on services and organizations that cater to them. I don’t feel guilty about that at all, and generally believe it to be more helpful than just handing over cash.

JBTX
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by JBTX » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:13 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:47 pm
snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm
This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?
snackdog,

One day, a homeless person standing on the traffic light in front of my car. It was cold and it started to rain. I handed $20 to the person and ask him to take a break from the rain. He headed off to the McDonald next to the traffic light.

I usually donate to the local food bank. But, in this case, if my $20 can get this person away from the rain and get a hot coffee in the McDonald, I believe that I had done something good.

KlangFool
I rarely give to them but one time at an intersection in my car a guy said all he needed was another 50 cents and he could buy a sandwich or some such. I said fine and gave him something. He promptly took that, walked in front of the car as I waited at the light and headed to the liquor store across the street. I actually laughed and gave him credit for his ingenuity, but it reinforced my aversion against giving to panhandlers.

ddurrett896
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:46 pm

Reason # 1525362 why I never carry cash.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:16 pm

I DO want to help the homeless but (as noted) I am concerned that any money I give on the street will go for alcohol, drugs, or smokes.

I give to the Salvation Army, in a big chunk, every year. They have a rep for (1) actually helping people (2) having low overhead and salaries for staff, and (3) not being publicity hounds.

If you do want to help a particular person, giving actual food would probably be best.

Minot
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Minot » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:17 pm

jucor wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:52 pm
cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:28 pm
If you follow some of these 'homeless' you'll see them getting into their Cadillacs with the loot they collected that day. Drop your money into a Salvation Army kettle or donate to other reputable charities instead.
I volunteer with a community-based organization that has as clients a number of homeless people -- while a very few panhandlers might be "rich" scammers, the vast majority of them and the homeless in general are not. Many are fighting various demons, alcohol and drug addictions, mental health issues, etc. Many are poorly prepared to deal with the adversity of an unexpected bill, and do not have the education, resources, or connections most on this list take for granted.

I have been reminded on a weekly basis that I am blessed, and that the spirit and compassion of many who are in circumstances I can barely fathom are in many cases far stronger than I can understand.

Last week I was working with some folks to get access to library cards -- earlier that day a friend had passed after a massive stroke and I was struggling -- I thought I was hiding it, but that night two guys who were in really bad points in their own lives that were far worse than my grief and sadness asked me if I was ok, and offered sympathy.

On this board we are very fortunate. I choose to be compassionate towards those who are not, even if they are not model citizens. Contributing cash to an individual might not be in your comfort zone, but you can treat panhandlers like humans, asking them if they need a meal or gloves or socks. You might get cursed at, but you might bring light to a dark day to someone.
Thank you.

SimonJester
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by SimonJester » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:24 pm

Just to echo what other said, I give to the organizations that support the homeless. They can take that same dollar and stretch it much further to help many more people then just the one singular person you give it to. This way you also know its truly helping the homeless and you are not being scammed.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Nissanzx1
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Nissanzx1 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:12 pm

We have them on every other street corner here. Most are very much in the grip of addiction (heroin, meth, booze, or a combo).

No way I'd give a drunk a drink. It's not responsible. It's as if you yourself are buying the dope/booze. Find a local homeless shelter and make your donations there. They will help people in need, not worsen a situation for someone.

AlphaLess
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by AlphaLess » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:14 pm

snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm
This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?
If you are, ask them what they need: food, clothing, other help.

When I am entering stores (grocery, etc), I pay attention to those who may be asking for something outside of the store.
If they ask for specific items, I buy some, and give them on the way out.

Once I was at a McDonalds, and a person approached and asked me if I can help him to buy some food. As I was entering my order at the kiosk, I asked him that he is welcome to order anything, and I would put it on my credit card. He said: he prefers money. So I told him: I don't have money. He asks me: then how are you going to pay for it. I showed him my credit card. He shrugged and left without saying anything. Not even thank you.

You see: it is even to find a con in any situation. It does not matter if a person is a card-carrying PhD running a hedge fund with 3 letter acronym, a president, or a homeless man.
"A Republic, if you can keep it". Benjamin Franklin. 1787. | Party affiliation: Vanguard. Religion: low-cost investing.

John88
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by John88 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:29 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:16 pm
I DO want to help the homeless but (as noted) I am concerned that any money I give on the street will go for alcohol, drugs, or smokes.

I give to the Salvation Army, in a big chunk, every year. They have a rep for (1) actually helping people (2) having low overhead and salaries for staff, and (3) not being publicity hounds.

If you do want to help a particular person, giving actual food would probably be best.
And at our local salvation army they can get a meal, place to sleep, shower, wash their clothes, some encouragement, breakfast in the morning, free bike repairs, and when they're ready a live in recovery center. One of the challenges is.. in order to participate you have to be sober.

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beyou
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by beyou » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:48 pm

Commuting on public transit in a large city.
Just get so many requests, I am numb to it.

Gardener
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Gardener » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:05 am

There is a big difference between doing good and feeling like you did something good. Giving money directly to a panhandler is in the latter category.

theshovel
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by theshovel » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:13 am

I personally never, ever give directly to homeless for all of the already stated reasons, and I watch what organizations I choose to give my money and time to.

Addiction and mental illness are terrible things. Arguably just as terrible is being forced to sit through an evangelical talk when you just want a bowl of soup and a shower.

The Good Book can help, but a good therapist WILL help.

.02

bluquark
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by bluquark » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:39 am

I don't there's a right or wrong answer to this. Except for the vanishingly rare people who give straight-ticket to GiveWell-recommended top charities, almost nobody focuses their charitable giving purely on maximization of positive impact to the world. There's always some mix of doing good and expressing your personal values in giving -- and that's as it should be, since we are humans not robots.

Because this is generally agreed upon and because the alternative is often no giving at all, in most areas there's a tacit agreement not to criticize people for "poorly targeted" giving, but rather to praise generosity in whatever form it takes. But for some reason we make an exception when it comes to panhandlers, with stories about feeding addiction. Even if it does feed addiction, I don't see how that really made things worse -- an addict going clean because they couldn't afford more is not a common event, to my knowledge. Instead, that's just a mostly wasted dollar, like a fair amount of charitable giving to institutions is as well (I don't mean institutions for the homeless here, I mean for example, contributing even more to Harvard's already huge endowment). And in some cases the panhandler really is needy, and in all cases the giving expresses a spirit of generosity and trust in urban life. Although I personally don't give to panhandlers, I have no problem at all with people who do.
Last edited by bluquark on Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cruise
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Cruise » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:49 am

I was brought up to not give to panhandlers, and although I always hated that prescription, I followed it, with a couple of exceptions:

-Once, visiting a very cold city in the middle of winter, I had an old suit with me and I went out and found a person who appeared homeless. I asked him if he knew someone he thought could use the clothing. He took it. Made me feel good.

-Once, I had a half-sandwich in my car, as I could not finish it. While stopped at a traffic light, I rolled down my window and asked the beggar if he would like some food. He took it. Made me feel good.

A few years ago, a former chronically homeless person gave a talk at our Rotary. Afterwards, I told him about my mixed feelings about stiffing panhandlers, and asked him what he thought. His answer: Stiff them. They are buying alcohol and drugs, and the money you give them prevents them from getting off the streets.

mattfr
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by mattfr » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:18 am

The general consensus here is to give to reputable organizations, whether that be in cash, in kind, or in time.

I do try to make a conscious effort to recognize and speak with people out on the street. Many feel invisible because they are ignored by most, which only reinforces negative self-image. Where needed, I’m happy to share a small snack (Applesauce pouches, cereal bars, a banana) that they likely won’t get injured over accepting.

My wife & I also took in a homeless 25 year old recently. He’s thriving in our family environment with a bit of love and emotional stability. It’s helping him see through some of the demons that have haunted him for years. This approach is like running long and deep rather than a one-shot interaction. It takes time, patience, love, and genuine charity.

This type of “take-in” arrangement doesn’t work for everyone, but under the right circumstances it can be wonderful. It’s a significant way to contribute to the healing of a distressed soul. I can’t think of a better way for us to be putting Christ-like virtues at the forefront of the Christmas season.

HIinvestor
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:51 am

I do not give cash to people seeking it. I have given leftover food that (including disposable utensils) I was taking home for an extra meal a few times, when I came across someone who appeared to be in need and hungry. They seemed grateful.

Mostly I give to charities I know are serving the needy in our community. Additionally I’ve started a nonprofit and provide health education and advocacy.

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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:25 am

Toons wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:23 pm
In the past ,I have purchased cases of canned foods from Sams club and delivered them to a Homeless shelter.
Give it a thought
:happy
When I have the means we make a sizable to us cash donation to the local food bank and our employer matches it dollar for dollar. The downside to this, we are bombarded with requests for even more cash in amounts greater than we can afford and it doesn’t stop, my mailbox has something from them at least 6x a year. These last 2 months, we’ve received 4 mailings.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

bluquark
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by bluquark » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:40 am

If you donate via DAF, you can check a box to donate anonymously.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:44 am

beyou wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:48 pm
Commuting on public transit in a large city.
Just get so many requests, I am numb to it.
Same. I realize some folks genuinely do need help, for many this is their permanent daily job. One of the most audacious scam I encountered was the fellow who indicated he was homeless, hadn’t eaten all day and then paused his shtick so he could take a call on his - IPhone!
The one time someone did ask for food I happened to have had a granola bar with me and offer edge it to them, they took it and proceeded to eat it on the spot. You just don’t know.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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William Million
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by William Million » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:10 am

A relative of mine suffered with drug addiction. He had been trying to get off drugs, then met the wrong friends one night and they panhandled for "food," using the money for cheap drugs. Drugs were bad and he died that night of overdose.

Every case is different, but I wish he had not received money for whatever story he told while panhandling.

sailaway
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by sailaway » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:32 am

I sometimes get a bunch of $5 gift cards for Starbucks or McDonald's and keep them in the car. My husband used to keep a couple of pairs of dry socks in ziploc bags in his car. In the summer, I have water bottles; in the winter chemical hand warmers. I usually have a couple of protein bars in my backpack that I can offer to anyone who approaches me claiming they need money for food.

Frankly, I rarely have cash on me to consider giving away. Yesterday, I went for a walk while waiting for my husband to finish at the dentist's. Someone approached me, but all I had on me was my car key and my phone.

PVW
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by PVW » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:06 am

snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm
This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?
Donating money to panhandlers only makes you feel good. It enables bad behavior. To act on your compassion, donate to organized charities.

I've never heard any aid organization say it is a good idea to give them money. They know more than me, I believe them.

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snackdog
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by snackdog » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:12 am

Some of you are generalizing about homeless people and painting them all with the same broad brush of addiction and failing to realize some are actually poor homeless people. How many have you had a conversation with?

I know of two people who worked the same intersection for years (in different cities). Both had severe physical handicaps. Both started work around 6am and worked in blistering heat on some days. I believe they had "regular" donors who commuted past them and donated.

I was once returning from a long, fat, boozy corporate expense account lunch with three other guys. We stopped at a sweltering hot Houston intersection and a guy on a wheelboard with no legs who was frequently at that corner held out his hand. We each ponied up $15 and gave him all $60. He was thrilled. We were happy.

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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:13 am

I donate to:

Pine St. Inn
http://www.pinestreetinn.org/

Rosie's Place
http://www.rosiesplace.org/

Our local Salvation Army
https://massachusetts.salvationarmy.org/MA/Framingham

All of these places serve the homeless. None of them have thieving CEO's pulling in huge salaries (I was nice and didn't say United Way).

Pay attention to the pan handlers. I do. The ones I regularly see have $200 sneakers and when they're waiting for the light to change, pull out their iPhone X. Nope.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by PVW » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:16 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:25 am
Toons wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:23 pm
In the past ,I have purchased cases of canned foods from Sams club and delivered them to a Homeless shelter.
Give it a thought
:happy
When I have the means we make a sizable to us cash donation to the local food bank and our employer matches it dollar for dollar. The downside to this, we are bombarded with requests for even more cash in amounts greater than we can afford and it doesn’t stop, my mailbox has something from them at least 6x a year. These last 2 months, we’ve received 4 mailings.
The non-stop solicitations is a big downside. One donation seems to open the flood gates of donation requests from all matter of charities. However, I've been making regular monthly donations to my local food bank and I don't seem to get a large influx of donation requests. I don't know why. Maybe the food bank hasn't sold my contact info, or maybe the charities know the mailers are not effective on me.

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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by flossy21 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:20 am

Somewhere I read about this and the suggestion was to carry a gallon sized ziploc bag in your car with socks, a toboggan, a bus pass or subway tokens, wet knaps, chapstick, toothbrush, toothpaste, gloves, blanket, etc. in it. When you pull up to a light and there is a panhandler then you can give them the bag. It avoids the drug issue and gives them some stuff that helps with survival.

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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:26 am

snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 pm
This time of year homeless panhandlers seem more visible than ever with the weather cold and holidays approaching. Today a lady on the sidewalk asked me how I celebrate - Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah?

Is it a good idea to give a couple dollars to such people? Seems quite mean to ignore them.

What is your financial advice?
Don't do it.
Give it to a charitable organization that supports homelessness.

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GoldStar
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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by GoldStar » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:27 am

I saw a documentary where they followed some of these folks around and interviewed them. Many of them are collecting drug money. There are organizations set up to help these folks versus possibly continuing to enable them with bad habits. I would give to a homeless shelter or one of the organizations that help the homeless versus giving directly to folks on the street.

In one case in the documentary - the drug addict promised folks that asked that he was using the money for food....and then off he went to get a "fix".

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Re: Donate to homeless?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:48 am

I have become deeply involved with a local chapter of Family Promise, part of a national interfaith program whose mission is to ¨affirm the humanity and dignity of homeless families and to engage our community in helping them achieve sustainable independence.¨ I have found many rewards in contributing time, talent, and treasure to this local effort. I also contribute to other local programs serving single folks without homes. It is important for me to understand the culture of the organizations I support, to make sure they are treating their clients with dignity and love, without imposing the religious values of the volunteers and staff.

If I encounter a homeless person asking for support, I would encourage them to seek help from one of the nonprofit organizations whose culture I have come to know and respect.

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