Would you give your money to a begger?

I was going on a tour trough Croatia,Bosnia,Serbia,Macedonia,Albania,… And today i was going to Montenegro after sleeping in Albania. And when i was waiting to go trough the border between Albania and Montenegro, gypsies were begging for money. I wanted to give them money and my dad gave one some cents because he wouldn’t go away but when i wanted to give them more he wouldn’t let me, explaining that they begg for money and then they give to their “boss” who collects it. And that they are lazy and could go work like everybody else. I actually saw their home, they were living in EXTREME poverty. We have some gypsies in my country but they are receiving social support from the government i think, while in Albania i doubt they are reciving anything. My dad actually saw one man lying on the floor i believe, when women and children were begging for money. Why don’t men find a job? If you give a begger in let say USA money, most will go buy beer. So is it still good to give money to beggers if you know they are not going to do anything smart with it or that they are going to continue to begg and not search for a job?

I do quite often.

To make a negative judgment about someone without knowing the facts is called prejudice.

To presume they’ll spend any money they receive on beer rather than on bread, medicine or other needed items is prejudice.

Yes, I sometimes give money to beggars.

I also pray for them, and thank God I’m not in their shoes (yet).

I don’t care if they do buy best with it.

I understand your dilemma. We should give money to the poor. It falls into the same area of Christian charity of giving food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, shelter to the homeless. The problem we face is the person in front of us really destitute and having to resort to begging or is he a ‘professional’ beggar.

There is a man who begs on the same street corner in our town centre 6 days per week - Monday to Saturday; he’s not there on Sundays. The town centre is opened on Sundays. I’ve often seen him give his money to a third party who collects it. Their interaction seems amiable; there’s no indication that he’s being robbed by someone he fears too much to stand up to. Sometimes when I’m driving in the car going to pick my wife up from work I see the same man, away from the town centre, talking on a mobile phone.

If I was homeless, hungry and living on the street I don’t think I’d easily part with the few meagre pennies people had given me. It makes me wonder why this man so easily lets his money go to this third party. It must pay enough not to need to be there on Sunday begging. It seems strange that someone so poor would spend money running a mobile phone.

I’m sure that some people who really need help miss out because people are wary because there are so many people out there who aren’t real beggars.

It can seem surprising that people in the world’s more economically developed countries would opt for this lifestyle. Most countries provide social housing, welfare benefits and free health care. I don’t believe people make a rational decision to live on the streets rather than access state support. In many cases I think it’s due to mental health issues. I had a great uncle who was a talented magician and ventriloquist. Despite his talents and having a career he became a tramp.

If he was prepared to dance for it.

I would and I do and I always will

I think it depends on the circumstances.

If the person is obviously intoxicated, or outright says that they’re just going to use the money to by liquor or drugs, I won’t give any. I may give some food if I have any, in that case.

If I’m under the impression that the person really is just down on their luck, I may give some money.

It depends on the moment. I go with my gut.

No matter how much money you give, you can’t possibly support all of them, while at the same time meeting your own obligations. What I find works better is to support the organizations that help them train for jobs, and help them find decent housing, while at the same time feeding and sheltering them while they are in the process of finding work and shelter.

I have noticed a huge difference in my neighborhood, that, ten years ago everyone was giving to street beggars, and there were dozens of street beggars. But we got together and we had a homeless shelter put into our area, and now we give all the money to the homeless shelter. Most of the people who were begging here ten years ago now have good jobs and homes to live in. Whereas if we had kept on just giving them our spare change as we passed them by, they would probably still be there, begging in the street.

So it makes a huge difference to put your money where it can do the most good. :slight_smile:

It’s interesting how many people say they’d not give if the person was inebriated or clearly intent on using the money to purchase alcohol. An alcoholic needs alcohol to survive. Sudden withdrawal of alcohol is dangerous, even fatal, to an alcoholic. It’s far more dangerous than continued drinking. For an alcoholic it might be charitable to give them money for this purpose.

If I might be allowed to digress. I don’t know if this story is funny or not. Once I went to the supermarket with my mother-in-law. Just as we were about to go in there were two obvious alcoholics, a male and female, arguing at the door. We inferred he was sending her in the shop to purchase alcohol. He had hold of her arm and was saying in a menacing voice: “don’t you dare waste any money on food”. We just looked at each other totally speechless.

The question we must ask is, :Would Jesus give his money to beggars?"

As one who comes from generations of alchoholism, I’ve never known even one single drunk who was so far gone that they had to have a drink to survive. Not having one might make them quite uncomfortable, (as well as the people around them) but it wouldn’t usually kill them. It’s far more likely that drinking too much too fast, with no food or water, could kill them. I think you are confusing alchoholism with addicitons to other chemicals such as heroine, meth, etc. Those addictions DO often require medical supervision when a person goes through withdrawl.

And the answer to that is “no.” He healed them and gave them the ability to work. :slight_smile:

If Jesus said to the rich man, “Sell all your possessions, and give the money to the poor and follow me,” is it not unreasonable to assume that Jesus sold his possessions and gave the money to the poor? How else could the man follow Jesus?

Denial of one drink now won’t cause imminent death, that’s true but it’s also not what I said. Sudden and complete withdrawal of alcohol from an alcoholic is far more dangerous than continued drinking. I am fully aware that alcoholic consumption has numerous ill-effects on many organs and will eventually lead to death. Nevertheless total abstinence after a long period of alcoholism will lead to a far more early death. I know this both from my education and, unfortunately, from first-hand experience.

My previous post did not say that it is important just to provide the alcoholic with their next immediate drink. It said we often think it’s an inappropriate thing to do: give them money that is going to be immediately spent on alcohol. I was merely making a statement that this disregards the bigger picture.

I handle such situations on a case-by-case basis. If I sense that someone is truly in need, I may give them something. If someone reeks of alcohol and cigarette smoke, then maybe not. :shrug:

I donate through my Church. We have what’s called Mayonnaise Sunday in which envelopes are available to help feed the homeless. For some churches, such as ours, the money is used to buy mayonnaise; for other churches the collection is used to buy tuna; for still other churches, bread; and so on.

If I was led by the Holy Spirit to do so yes. And I would also ask to pray with them. Some of my missionary brothers always sit and talk and pray with the beggars they meet. They will sometimes give money, or they will buy food for the person.

You have to use some judgment. If deceit and misuse of monies gained by begging to do things that will harm the beggar is rampant, it is false charity to give to someone who will be sinning by taking the money. If the person is in need, you have to do your best to meet the need, not just throw money in that direction that will probably leave the need unmet when all is said and done. After all–if your own child were asking for money to do something to harm themselves while neglecting their own true needs, would you give them the money? Let’s hope not. Would you try to help them if there was a way to do it that would actually give them a benefit? One would hope so. Which would interest you more, actually helping them or gaining their approval for your choice? We know the answer to that one, too.

I don’t know anywhere where there is a shortage of places to give alms in ways that provide the maximum benefit to the needy. That is not to say that it is always wrong to give to individual beggars, only that one is required to exercise some prudence. In Albania, giving to individuals–perhaps buying something a family would need, rather than giving cash, if misuse of hard cash is the rule–might be the best way to go; I don’t know.


Jesus was poor from the get-go. He never had any possessions to sell, in the first place.

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