I feel bad helping someone


So today helped two homeless men asking for help by buying them food from a convenience store.

What makes me feel bad is that I was sorta pressured into it, given that one of the men didn’t back off when I told him I couldn’t help.

On one hand I’m sorta glad that I helped someone in a manner that didn’t require handing-out money randomly, but I felt slightly taken advantage of given the nature of the request.

It’s not like I don’t have money…my bank account is in decent shape and this didn’t affect anything negatively; nonetheless I feel bad. It’s also fueled by the fact that my dad handles my finances for me for the time being, and I don’t want to have to explain what I spent this money on (given that I’ve been drilled in the past for these types of things).

Your thoughts?


If the homeless men are being rude and trying to play mind games with you (like “Why don’t you buy me food? You have money, I don’t” or some such), than I would just tell cops I come across about their behavior, and pray for their souls. They may be homeless, but they have no excuse to be rude and pushy to other people.

Just tell your dad that you used the money as alms, and keep it at that. And trust in Jesus. :slight_smile:


Don’t fall prey to the soft bigotry of low expectations and think that all homeless people are incapable of having moral standards. Some, sadly, have mental illnesses. Others are in hard luck. Others are homeless for other reasons that I do not know - maybe pride. :o :confused: :shrug: It is possible to take pride in something that society condemns just as one takes pride in something that society loves. :eek:

Once I wanted to help a homeless person who was bothering me. Instead of giving him money that he wanted to use to buy fast-food, I wrote down the address of local soup kitchens on a piece of paper to give to him. He wouldn’t take it. He also stopped bothering me for money, and I was not rich to give much money away anyways. My personal suspicion is that this shamed him into acting with more human dignity next time and convicted him regarding his motivations for asking for money. :o


When I go to the third world country, it’s really easy to identify who needs help and who doesn’t. When it comes to American, it is so hard as you hear all these stories about, lazy people, drug dealers, con artist and can tell the deserving or the not so deserving.

I have been struggling on this issue of help the homeless too many times. When I don’t help I felt bad, and when I do help I wonder if they’re going to use it for anything bad. Then I thought, I’ll just do my part and if they con me well they’ll just have to answer to God. With that said, I don’t give it to just anybody though. If I saw someone that is young and healthy holding a sign I’ll probably skip. I saw and old and frail man I’ll give.


What was bothersome was that I ended-up purchasing a decent amount of food for these men, which is good, only to find-out that my checking account is low and that some of that money had been set aside for a bill (again, my dad handles my finances and I thought I had enough in there).

And that’s the problem…and now my dad is calling me demanding the exact reason I spent the cash, but I don’t want to tell him because I’ll get nothing but complaints and yelling for days to come.


Ask your priest about it. My priest told me that one should ask before doing self-sacrifice. I used to want to give and my priest told me not to until I had more money in a better educational/career/etc. situation… You are not serving the world or the conscience of America. You are serving God. His will be done. St. Maria Faustina in Divine Mercy in My Soul sometimes wanted to over-fast and oher things that Jesus told her he did not want to do. Obedience is greater than sacrifice! In fact, some of the fasts that Christians used to do may even be against Church law now - such as St. Francis of Assisi’s 40 day fast!


Offer your father’s reaction and the circumstance you’ll find yourself in to the Lord for the conversion of sinners. Tell the truth to your father, do not lie. Jesus is giving you a share in His Cross.


Mt 25:35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink

Mt 25:40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Love and give freely! You are in the right. Even if the recieving party was in the wrong by taking advantage of you. May God Bless you always! :thumbsup:


better to err on the side of good if you must. Just a thought.:thumbsup:


It’s a tough call. I used to give a dollar to every guy on the street corners figuring it wouldn’t add up to much. Then one time we were at some food stands and someone claiming to be homeless and hungry approached us. We bought him some food at one of the stands. He sat down and promptly dumped it in the trash a little later. He maybe took one or two bites at most.

I sat in on a couple of presentations about the homeless and found out that most of the truly homeless are a bit schizophrenic and are afraid to come out in the open. Many of the folks who claim to be homeless aren’t.

Now I give to the soup kitchens and help agencies, and rarely give to the corner panhandlers. I still feel sorry for folks who have to beg to make ends meet or feel that they have to rip people off to get ahead in life. One of the local news agencies followed a panhandler, who got into a decent car and drove off when he was done. He probably had a nice home too.

Some years ago, a local disabled person who used to sit on a DC street corner, was found dead in his Florida home with several hundred thousand in cash. He owned a bar in DC and just sat at the street corner because folks would toss him money even though he never asked for it. I remember tossing him a few coins when I was a kid too,

But even if the guy doesn’t really need it. You should never feel bad about giving. It’s not your fault if the guy was just greedy instead of needy. And in the case where the guy was really a poor person, you did a good thing. It a shame some folks give poor people a bad reputation. They have their own sins to answer for.


About your dad, does he support you or do you work to support yourself? If your dad supports you, he has say over how you spend your money. You might ask for some discretionary funds that you can use as you see fit.

Next time, carry some $5 McDonalds gift cards, then you can give a hot meal to someone who asks.


Just tell him you bought food, you don’t have to tell him for whom unless he pushes. Besides, it’s your money you don’t have to be bothered by your dad’s complain, do what kids do. Let it come in one ear and out the other. And next time carry extra money so you don’t have to go through the same problem everytime.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.