Giving to beggars


The city I live in has its fair share of beggars. In fact my college university always has at least two or more of them sitting outside the entrances of the school and usually they’re either really old folks or kids who look younger than ten.

As much as I’ve heard Catholic teachings about being charitable and everything… I don’t give these people a single cent. I ignore them.

I’m sorry, it’s just that from my experiences and from what I’ve been taught about the mentality of these people, I’ve heard that giving money to them will only make things worse. Heck my parents go as far as to say it’ll just make them lazy.

Although I don’t think it feels right to agree with them completely, I cannot deny the fact that most of the beggars I’ve seen have never really done anything else but to raise their hands (or cups) to every passerby. I also cannot deny the fact that every time I see some of the more teenage ones they always seem to be carrying children with them when the beg from vehicles during a red light. Are they really their children or is this some form of pity tactic? I don’t really know anymore…

Am I wrong to think like this towards these beggars? I mean, I don’t wanna be a miser and all but I don’t wanna be leeched on either. This has really been buggin’ me lately. :confused:


my parish priest told us not to give money to beggars, but we could give them food or clothes if they wanted it. It seems that most beggars want the money for drink and so to give them money may do them more harm than good.

Try doing something along the lines of St Paul and say: silver and gold I have not, but take what I have: Jesus Christ!

I wish I had the nerve to do that :o


I ran into the same situation when I worked in Manhattan. My biggest reason for not giving is that I was 99% sure my money would not go for food or shelter but for alcohol or drugs. I know of friends who have offerred to buy food for these folks instead of giving them the moey directly and who have subsequently been harassed by them because they only want the cash.

My answer was, and is, to give to Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, etc. where I know the money will be used in a moral way to help those who need it. And to pray, for “their but for the grace of God go I”.


If they are exposing their children to danger in traffic you should not reward that activity. To the contrary, you should contact the authorities.

If you feel you will run into beggers you could consider making up some 3x5 cards with the addresses or phone numbers of places they could go for help.

You can also make a donation and attach a note to the donation saying you were helping because of the person you saw on the street.

Side thought: When McDs had the Beeney babies (pre boycott)my whole family got together and worked to get one of each toy for each family member before they sold out. To get a beenie you had to buy a happy meal. They were moving through the selection of beenies so fast we couldn’t eat all of the happy meals. So my mom started taking them to the people on the road with the will work for food signs. I don’t think she got any complaints but she did get a lot of wierd looks from the people she was bringing the food to.


Okay, I have a little to contribute on this subject.

My brother is a professional homeless man. And he panhandles. He is a beggar. And he is pretty good at it.

I have personally seen him collect more than $2,000 in one day in a downtown area. He claims he has collect around $5,000 in one day during the Christmas shopping season. It is astonishing. And what does he do with this money? Does he rent and apartment? Does he buy food? Does he help his sons who (thankfully) live with their mother? Nope, he smokes it. And I am not talking about tobacco.

DO NOT MONEY GIVE TO BEGGARS AND PANHANDLERS!!! If you want to help them, and as Catholics we are morally obligated to help people, give to homeless shelters, drug treatment centers, food banks, free medical clinics, etc. Do not give these bums people money.


O NOT MONEY GIVE TO BEGGARS AND PANHANDLERS!!! If you want to help them, and as Catholics we are morally obligated to help people, give to homeless shelters, drug treatment centers, food banks, free medical clinics, etc. Do not give these bums people money.

Exactly. You are only feeding their addiction.


I don’t give money, but I always have a box of granola bars in my van. That way, I have food to give. If they throw it out, then it’s on them, not me. I’m listening to my Boss, who told me that He would show up as the hungry, the thirsty, and the naked.

When I’m judged, I would rather stand in front of Jesus and have Him say, “You sure went through a lot of granola bars!” than “How many times did I appear before you and you ignored me?”


What a simple and marvelous idea! Thanks for sharing & God bless you for trying.


Excellent post. And your brother is NOT the exception either.

As always, I will keep your family in my prayers.


I always give if I am able without attempting to judge the person asking.


I live in Carson, part of Los Angeles County. We have our share of panhandlers (local term). I do not give them money. I give $30 or more weekly to the local AA club. Trust me, every begger and panhandler in the area knows of TLC, The Torrance-Lomita Alano Club. They know exactly where to go when they make that decison to stop alcohol and drugs. Even if it is not today. My money keeps the club open and running. :coffeeread:


A friend of mine owns his own lawn service, and employs three men. One morning, one of them called in sick, and so my friend and the other two jumped in the truck and headed off to work.

As they exited the expressway, they caught a red light at the bottom of the off ramp. A man was standing on the shoulder, holding a sign “out of work, need help”.

My friend told the man he would hire him for that day, pay him 13.00 an hour cash at the end of the day, and would also buy him lunch.

The man holding the sign said “no thanks, I can do better standing right here”, and started laughing.



Yep. In the drug abuse biz, the term “enabler” is common. Not all drug addicts will steal or rob for money. A lot of them continue to use drugs because they find folks who enable them to do so by giving them money.

To enable their continued drug use is to be an accessory to sin.


Sad that it’s true - that some workers are paid so little that it’s not worth working.

Christ said ‘whatsoever you do to the least of these …’, so I don’t think just walking by is any alternative. The food seems to be a good idea - and I remember once many moons ago a beggar asking for money to make a phone call. Oddly enough I happened to have an almost-used telephone card which I offered but for the life of me I can’t remember whether it was accepted or not.


Apparently I’m in the minority here.I do give money to “beggars” and to charities and to the church and to the folks selling candy bars for some club or whatever.Yes,some people just want a hand-out 'cause they’re lazy or addicts…please you don’t have to remind me…I worked as a welfare caseworker for 20+ years.

I’d rather give 50 cents or a dollar on the off chance that the person really does need the help.Sometimes I offer to buy them food…sometimes I hand them a rosary and prayer card.Sometimes a poor soul just wants a little human interaction along with that quarter that they’ll use to buy booze.I talk to them about all sorts of things especially God.Usually if they’re bogus they figure I’m plum nuts and move on.The folks who are earnest are often pretty receptive to religion and appreciate the fact that some one is willing to see them as more than a blight on the urban landscape.


church and community workers here and on the other side of the border warn against giving money directly to beggars, esp. women and children, because most are being exploited by gangs who force them to beg and turn over the proceeds in return for very minimal help with food etc., so we would actually be contributing to criminals.

I give directly to the various ministries that serve the homeless and street people directly (in money, time and talent).


I hear ya. We got the same problem here. It’s just that sometimes it’s hard. Some of these kids can be very hardheaded and want nothing else except money. The way they can get a little rude can sometimes turn me off. -_-;;



I think you are missing the point of that story.

$13/hr cash is a good wage. The panhandler could make more begging, so didn’t want to do honest work.

God Bless


Me, too. I can only assume that everyone of those on the street is another Lazarus, begging at the gates of the city. I know many will use the money for unholy things, of course; but that is between them and God. I am only called to give alms when and where I can; that is what is between ME and God. (I pray for the street people, too, as I pass; for their safety and comfort . . . perhaps that is of more value than my change.)


I would just like to point out that while many of us have probably argued that it is wrong to turn one’s back on the Church because of the repugnant actions of a few priests, so it would also be in error to avoid our duty of almsgiving and corporal works of mercy because of the actions of a few immoral people.

I’m not accusing anyone on this thread of doing that, but I’m saying it’s very easy to say, “I won’t give money to the individual, but I will give it to an organization”, then forget to do just that.

But then again, I don’t give money, either, as per my last post.

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