Young beggar in the intersection

Sometimes there are young guys beggin in the intersection, but ones that wear green hair or so, have all sort of chains or “gothic” things, and some form of a skull painted/or as an object somewhere; sometimes they look “bended down”.
While it is obvious that they wear those symbols because they want to “make a statement”, wich 100% is antichristian, is it ok to give them money? Isn’t like agreeing on their statement?
What about those that launch into a wild trip, without money, relying on ocasional begging?
Is it ok to give them money too?
It’s like they want to jump into it because anyway others will get them out…

I never give money to the side of the road people. You have no idea where that $$ is going, drugs etc. Or if they really are poor/homeless. Additionally, there are far better organizations that can make your donation go farther and put your money to better use.

Some on these forums will tell you that you are heartless, cruel, unbiblical and un-Christian if you do not give to any and all who beg. I see this advice as nonsense, as we are called also to use prudential judgment in all such giving. Many Priests do not give to beggars, but rather, refer them to the local charities. They have good reason for this.

I worked for three decades dealing with such individuals. Some were indeed needy. A high percentage, however, are financing a drug or alcohol habit. One primary fact to keep in mind when dealing with such beggars: they all know where the approved charities are located. You will notice that they do not go there. Ask yourself why that would be. Well, it is usually because they can only get food, clothing and temporary housing vouchers at bona fide charities, when what they are searching for is hard cash. Cash that can be used to buy…things that charities know are not good for them.

Some people offer them food, or fast food gift certificates and that is fine. Cash simply feeds their habit.

yea, it’s a difficult call. I figure if I can spare the money, they can have it. Good works and all that. But maybe I’m contributing to an addiction etc. Who can say for sure?

No, you should not give money to such panhandlers as it is almost certainly going to support alcohol and tobacco addictions. I have worked in social services with the homeless for twenty years. Instead, we should support programs which provide food, shelter, clothing, counseling, etc…

I’m of the same opinion.

I believe there is a correct intervention with those on the street, though its more time consuming than giving them a few bucks and quickly leaving. Basic needs come into play.

I give cash to whoever asks it of me. I do not judge their situation, that is God’s place. I am not held accountable for people who misuse my money for things other than that of which they have requested it. Where I live, charities can’t take care of all of the homeless or such.

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

What if, however unlikely, we are turning away the Lord? Is it a risk we are willing to take?

We give a small amount to everyone when possible, I am unable to ignore them and my husband is on board with me. I feel certain that God does not mind.

It is a matter of judgement, its a matter of correctly helping them vs enabling them. Its pretty self evident warm clothing, shoes, food are all needs.

Making a correct judgement isn’t judging another, its your better thinking that you judge. This question isn’t if these souls need help, its the best way to help them, so in fact your not helping the local drug dealer.

I’m with Paul, Gary and po18guy: I give to charities, not directly to beggars. The way I see it, if what they collect will be used to feed an addiction I’m not doing them any favors by giving them the means to do so. In the case of people begging in traffic, I definitely don’t give to them because it is dangerous for them to be wandering around in the middle of the road and I don’t want to encourage the practice! :eek:

On the other hand, I have a smile and a kind word for everyone who begs. I learned this from my priest. We are both firm about not handing out cash, but that doesn’t mean we have to lower our eyes and pretend the panhandlers aren’t there.

That said: each to his own conscience, in light of his own local situation.

We are not omniscient, that individual could need money for food, but may use it on drugs, we can not be 100% certain.

They will be receiving a grace, a blessing, what they do with that is entirely up to them, I give when I have, and feel prompted to, but living in Los Angeles if I were to give to all those who ask, I would need to get a second job :wink:

You are presenting them with an opertunity to make a decision for good, or bad, it’s their choice.

My friend Joe once said " free will is like a glass of water, you can drink of it and be refreshed, or shove your face in it and drown"

I will give some money if I can, and if I feel safe. There have been a few times when I just had a bad feeling about it, so I didn’t. We can always pray for them, too.

I’m in the city all day and approached by people all the time. I like to buy a sandwich, when my pride doesn’t get in the way.

There is one person who I keep an eye out for because I denied her the last time and I was on my way to lunch. I feel bad about that one.

For the side of the road or folks that stand at the end of an off-ramp - we try and have granola bars in the car. Had a couple for a guy not too long ago.

I found out that if I myself am facing difficult times the more compassion I have for people. I usually give small amounts to people asking for money to buy food or to get on the bus.

It is certainly not wrong to give them money, but I don’t think you have to. I try to give if I can, and also give to charitable organizations.

While I understand the idea of only giving to certain charities, I don’t like the hidden accusation that I am somehow morally wrong to give money directly to those who ask. I try to follow my heart in such matters.

There is nothing wrong with only giving to charities, its more about giving cheerfully! Better to feel comfortable and happy about giving, than to be suspicious and worried.
Plus more resources pooled together can be a great help, but it is not immoral in any way to give money directly.

Some years ago a church in the little town where I lived had the policy of giving food out to anyone who came asking. Often making substantial sandwiches to give to the beggars. So one day a parishioner notices one of the clients leave the church premises, stroll across to the nearby gas station and sell his sandwich to someone else. :rolleyes:

I refuse to give money to beggars. If they are hungry or say “have family, need food”, Ill say Ill buy you a hot meal or lets go to the local food bank and get some. If they say no, then they are not in need and want the money for other things. Thats when I tell them they can go some place.

These are some really interesting responses. Isn’t it amazing, the incredibly polarized positions people have on the issue? One one hand you have someone saying they give freely and quoting “least of them” scripture, and on the other you have someone saying if you do, you’re surely supporting an addiction and people really in need know where to go for necessities.

I lived on the streets of Toronto in the late 80s. I was surrounded by panhandlers.

The truth is, some had homes they went home to during the week. We called them weekend punks (punk rock street people, but only on Sat and Sunday, like a costume they put on).

Others did panhandle to support a drug or alcohol habit, and utilized the charity (there was only one, a church) for food.

Others still panhandled out of pure necessity for basic needs: Food, medicine, etc.
Yes they used the charity, which gave out basically a sack lunch. There were no soup kitchens or hostels/homeless shelters. If you weren’t there exactly on time (six am) for the sack lunch, you were foodless for the day. Sometimes you just couldn’t get there on time, being that street people don’t exactly have subway tokens and are shooed out of the neighborhoods after a certain hour.

I could go on, but my point is, all of you are right.

I think you should always give to a beggar. Luke 6:30 says to give to all who ask of you…

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