Do you think we should be giving money to homeless people?
It seems like an obvious answer, yes. But some homeless people take money and spend it on drugs, and what happens is they don't get better at all, should we be opening more shelters, should we be giving them food instead? whats your opinion on the matter?
The large majority of homeless people do not want to be homeless. I see nothing wrong with handing a couple of dollars to a homeless person. What is the worst they will do with it? Maybe go to a liquor store and get some alcohol to numb their sad life for a night? It has always irked me when I hear people complain that homeless people will just buy alcohol with the money. Not only is that an insult to all homeless people, but it is also ignorant. A large amount of people who aren't homeless have a drink here and there. If the homeless person wants to be normal for a day so be it.
However I have started making "homeless bags" to hand out. Basic needs, some meds, snacks, and a couple of dollars for whatever they would like to use it on. Some homeless people are lowlifes and others are just people who are lost.
My family was homeless in 2013. We are not drug addicts or pill heads. We didn't blow our money on petty items. We had serious medical issues that resulted in job loss, followed with lots of other issues that led us without a home. Through the generosity of others (many here on HP) and hard work we are back to a normal life.
People should give what they feel comfortable with. More shelters should be opened, and there needs to be a focus on family shelters which are far and few between in many areas. For example there are no shelters in my area that will take a family without splitting boy children from their mothers and placing them with many other homeless men if they are over the age of 10. I would rather sleep in a car than allow my sons to be placed in with 100 random men. There also needs to be more education to the general public about homeless people. My husband and I are both college educated people. Yet when we were homeless we were looked down at like we stupid. Sorry but the topic of homeless people hits close to home and irks me a bit because of the many assumptions people make.
If you can, why not? If I spot them, I usually get a few groceries and place it gently before them. Once a homeless man was asleep and I left a loaf of bread by his side, for when he woke up.
Some people abuse being homeless, but follow your heart.
I think we should give money to shelters so that they can provide food and shelter, not the homeless people themselves--because you're right, they may not spend it wisely. My problem is that if I see a couple of homeless people on the street, I know if I give one of them money, I'll feel obliged to give all of them money, to be fair, and I don't have a lot of money myself. So giving to an organization that helps homeless people makes more sense.
There primary need is what Abraham Maslow placed on the bottom of his Self-Actualization Pyramid, food, shelter, and clothing. Money is more of an indirect benefit/solution; although it has potential if exchanged for food, shelter and/or clothing. Thus the focus on long-term solutions for shelter, providing food and clothing should be the priority.
Although sometimes it does indeed become a mental health issue; thus, the solution is to treat the mental issue and simultaneously provide stability through shelter, food and clothing.
I used to live and work on Capitol Hill in DC. Every morning, I'd walk from my apartment behind the Supreme Court building, to a bagel shop on Pennsylvania Avenue, where there were always dozens of homeless people, sleeping on the Metro grates, or pandhandling for change. I often ran into my coworkers at the bagel shop, where we'd chip in, and buy a bag of plain bagels, to give to one of the homeless guys as we walked to our office. In all the time I lived on the Hill, I never gave a homeless person money, but I gave them food regularly.
I don't think giving someone who is down and out money is a bad thing, but I think what these folks need is services. Mental health care, rehab, programs to help them get their lives back on track, temporary housing or assistance with permanent housing, job training. Basically, whatever hand they need to get back on their feet.
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