I don't know that it's wrong if you have no other choice, but here's a story to tell why I don't give money to panhandlers:
Used to help run a restaurant that had a "streetperson" who would come by at closing time most weeknights for a handout. We'd usually give him some food and if someone felt like giving him money they would...I never did, but I had no problem with the food.
One day someone saw him come out of a building and get on a very nice mountain bike. He looked different than he normally did...more cleaned up and dressed better, but this person recognized him from the restaurant. Fortunately our streetperson did not recognize this person. So, this person struck up a conversation with him under the guise of asking him about the apartment building he came out of, and found out he lived there. The bike? That was his as well.
A few nights after hearing about this he came by the restaurant again, and I asked him about it. He made up a story that he didn't say those things, and just generally made a really poor attempt at lying. I told him that he would need to pay for his meals from that point forward, and we didn't see him again at the restaurant. I would still see him in the usual places around town, though, where he liked to beg.
Another time in New Orleans a guy came up to me dressed nicer than I was begging for change! Sorry, but I would prefer to buy someone a meal than give them money.
My minister in Seattle used to run a food banki. A man came in asking for money, and my minister told him to help himself to canned food. The bum snapped, "Where am I supposed to get a can opener?!" I said to make the bum mad, hand him one.
Is needing food and shelter wrong? If you don't have one or the other and can't get help from family or friends, it is a viable solution. Be prepared to be heckled, ignored,definitely lectured and possibly spat upon. Some people have not had the misfortune to be in a position to need help and have no empathy, other people, just plain don't care. In today's financial climate decent ,hardworking people can find themselves in a situation that they never dreamed could happen to them. On the other side of the fence, if you are out there panhandling for drug money or a bottle of MD 25, get help. Most states have a "treatment on demand" law in effect. Go to the Emergency Room and ask for substance abuse treatment. It won't be easy and you might have to deal with some withdrawal symptoms but if you are critically ill (and you can die from alcohol withdrawal), you will be seen. It is a good idea to mention that you drink frequently, because they can't send you away without being sure that you won't go into DT's and have a seizure. If you are homeless related to mentall illness, the Emergency Room is your best bet,too. If you are not willing to take the medications that keep you from mentally decompensating, then, you will be taken off the street, eventually. Whatever your reason for being out there, I wish you the strength to follow your inner voice. It doesn't usually lie.
I think you have to do what you have to do. If you have money and you are doing it then it is wrong.
My Dear Sweet Friends,
There is only one problem with begging and panhandling, that is that the society place people in the position to do such in order to survive. Why!?
We, as a Christian nation, shouldest never ever have within our borders, people who feel the need to beg. Why is not all of their needs already met?! Why shouldest one be demoted amongst us unto begging? Is not this nation blessed with abundance, enough for all?
We must all give, and give unceasingly with Love and faith that we shall be continually blessed if we take care of one another.
by ptosis5 years ago
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