Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes


#204 Not giving money to the homeless

posted by Stephanie Drury

homeless.jpgWhen encountering someone holding an “ANYTHING HELPS” sign, evangelicals will sooner pass them by than give them money.

There’s an unspoken bias in Christian culture that is skeptical of those asking for a handout. They wish the homeless would grab those bootstraps already and start yanking. But they are faintly aware of what Jesus said about the poor so they will sometimes give them food, but never cash, citing that they might use it to buy drugs or malt liquor.

When stopped at a light by a needy person holding a sign, the typical evangelical might rifle around a bit and see if there is a granola bar or Swiss Cake Roll to give them but they will not give them money. If the person stopped ahead of them sticks a dollar bill out the window, there’s a good chance an evangelical will say “They’re just going to go get drunk with it. Sighhhhh.”



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Kevin

posted December 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm


Thanks for bringing this up. I for one find this kind of thing pretty disgusting. Yes, in some cases the homeless guy might buy alcohol or drugs. Nevertheless, that’s his decision and not really of any concern to the person doing the good dead. Charity has more to do with your intentions than the results.



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Steven

posted December 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm


So true. I get criticized all the time for giving money out.
The same criticism is not levels at Christian employers who pay alcoholic employees.



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Ally

posted December 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm


I admit…I’m hesitant to give money to anyone shilling for money. But in my defense, I don’t stop at homeless people. Televangelists, TV pitch guys, the college students with their 8 O’Clock coffee cans pasted over with “PSU for cancer cures…” Maybe I’m just too suspicious.



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Rocky Presley

posted December 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm


Many city governments share the same opinion. Seattle, lead the way in 1987 banning soliciting others for items. These metropolitan areas typically offer shelter and basic necessities for the homeless in their community. In Dallas, signs are up discouraging giving to panhandlers, and local organizations who work with the homeless give the same advice.
It’s true. Many Christians care nothing about the poor, and they completely lack the character of Jesus in their lives if this is true. But many like myself choose to volunteer and give to organizations who help end the cycle of homelessness rather than giving money directly which in many cases perpetuates it. I hear stories consistently of families who will feed the homeless on holidays rather than themselves. In my city, faith based organizations do more to help the poor than another other NGO’s or government agancies. Contempt for the poor is not a distinctly Christian issue by any means. It is a blight on our society as a whole, but faith based organizations have historically lead the way as it comes to caring for the homeless.
The issue in my part of Dallas is professional panhandlers. News organizations will often report on these types of frauds. There is even growing instances of human trafficking in that area as individuals capitalizes on others generosity. So, it’s not just someone taking your money and going to buy booze.
An amazing read on this subject is “The Same Kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall. If anyone has a lack of compassion for the homeless in their community, this one can turn them around.



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Tiggy

posted December 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm


Our local homlelessness charities also discourage the giving of money. This is because so many people will use it to buy drugs – that more than alcohol. They sell vouchers that you can give to homeless people that they can exchange for food or lodging. The people who come up to me asking for money in my city centre are people who I know through my friends are drug addicts. (I have friends who have been on the streets here and in hostels etc so they know a lot of local homeless people.)
A friend of mine won’t give money to homeless people because she says that could pay for the dose of drugs that kills them and her son died that way. She works running AA groups in prisons and locally as well as with a local homelessness charity.



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Josh Mueller

posted December 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm


On the other hand, there are also those who are eager to give some cash because they know it’s the quickest way to get rid of the person.
The real problem here is not money or an alternative way of helping but the reluctancy to personally connect with the person. Who is asking their name (and will remember it)? Who is willing to invest time and show respect by having a longer conversation and hearing their story? Who gives them a real sense of dignity by not acting awkwardly but treating them as a real human being?



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Eli

posted December 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm


Josh – YES.
As for the rest of the issue – it is a tough one. I learned the “don’t ever give money to beggars because they’ll use it for drugs” from sources not remotely part of CC. As I got older, I needed more than the catch-all decision. For awhile I felt guilty driving by anyone. But then, I realized that giving out of guilt isn’t the right motivation. AND, I honestly don’t think giving money to someone begging helps them, if they even are not a scammer. Do I want to do more, YES. I want to do something that will help someone actually get on their feet. I haven’t figured out where to start yet, but I think perhaps with an organization like FareStart(which was only recently brought to my attention by a friend).:)



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Josh

posted December 3, 2010 at 10:10 pm


Jesus people, it’s just money. If someone asks for 5 bucks for food, I’ll shell it out, who cares? Yes, they MAY go spend it on booze or drugs but maybe they’ll spend it on their 6 year old kid who’s hungry. Besides, who are we to say that a homeless guy might not need a stiff drink after being HOMELESS.



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Christina

posted December 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm


Once I was, lets stay stuck, in Downtown Detroit waiting for my mom to Western Union me money. It was about 97 degrees out and I had no cash at all. I was SOOO thristy I resorted to asking people for a dollar. I asked about 25 people going to a Tigers game who all claimed “I only have a credit card” finally I stumbled onto a guy who gave me a dollar. He shoved it towards me and yelled “Now just go buy your beer!!!” I tried to tell him I really wasn’t buying beer but he wouldn’t believe me.
Dunno it just remined me of that



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Billy

posted December 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm


When visiting Manhattan last January, there were signs all over the city (especially in the subway) that said not to give money to the homeless. These were signs that were put out by the city of New York. There was a phone number to call instead; some sort of department that is designed to get the homeless engaged in work related activities. Guess the Empire City is totally down with Christian Culture then.



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Billy

posted December 3, 2010 at 10:54 pm


…and as far as using the money to buy drugs and alcohol, I’ve heard that the consumption of some liquors can keep the body warm. Anyone heard of that? Makes sense, drink whiskey to stay warm. I’d do it, kill two birds with one stone.



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lilibet inglewood

posted December 4, 2010 at 12:16 am


What bias?
I give whenever I have it, even WHEN the sign says, (Honest, I’m not making this up) “WHAT THE HELL,I NEED A BEER.”
Right now, I’m unemployed.So spare change and a granola bar might be all I have to offer.



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Shannon Pace

posted December 4, 2010 at 2:29 am


I love this post, Stephanie. I laughed so hard about the Swiss Cakes from the car floor; that just kills me. Besides the image of something from Hostess being slung out a car window being so damn funny, it’s so true!
One of the (many) things that drew me from the evangelical church to the Catholic church (though now I’m Episcopal) was that, low and behold, they actually mentioned social justice! — which Jesus seemed to be all about.



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Rachel

posted December 4, 2010 at 3:28 am


There’s also a fun 3rd CC option: give them a tract instead. Because the guy who has misspelled words on his sign can read a Roman’s Road.



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urname

posted December 4, 2010 at 3:45 am


no joke – was attacked and backed up against wall by 3 professional panhandlers. (also homeless.) thought i was gonna be assaulted.
cop came by. end of story. was scared, though!
point of post is good, but there r real probs out there.



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Sean

posted December 4, 2010 at 6:28 am


People need.
People need to satiate their appetites.
People need to have energy to continue.
People need to distract themselves from their problems.
People need to feel safe.
People need to feel desirable.
People need to get away from bad weather.
People need to chase happiness.
People don’t need Steve Green to tell them what they need.
Who the fuck am I to criticize someone who can kill several of these birds with one bump of heroin, especially when my Twinkie habit is far less satisfying?



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Quinn

posted December 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm


Billy,
Actually, alcohol only creates the illusion of warmth. It temporarily expands blood vessels so that blood is diverted to the skin. So while the drinker feels warm, the person’s core body temperature is actually dropping, leaving them more vulnerable to hypothermia. With that said, I can still understand why a homeless person would want to drink. Even the illusion of warmth is better than nothing when there’s no place that they can go inside and get warm.
OK, back to the original topic. Like others here, I’ve had an occasional bad experience with the homeless. One time, when I was walking through downtown alone, two homeless people accosted me and demanded that I take them to a fancy restaurant in the town (I was underemployed and didn’t have much money, myself, but I did give them enough to get a decent meal at a mid-range restaurant). Even after that experience, I still give money to the homeless because you never know when you might be turning away someone who’s genuinely in need.
captcha:
offerent wings,



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kenneth

posted December 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm


Nothing says Christ like stepping over the least fortunate! After all, the New Testament is THE definitive argument for Social Darwinism!



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JustMe

posted December 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm


If I lived in a box on the side of the road I’d want drugs and alcohol too. Who are we to judge what they in situations (most) can’t imagine? I do agree that just giving handouts won’t fix the problem and it is always more beneficial to give to organization for the homeless than the homeless themselves. My only pet peeve with the Christian community is the over the top way they brag about how great and generous they are to children in Uganda or announcing to everyone a missions trip (worth thousands) to Costa Rica but then stepping over the homeless in their own community. No one will praise you at church for giving 5 bucks to the dirty guy outside, I guess. Everyone is allowed to give or not give whatever they want to whoever they want, it only ends up obnoxious when people base their deeds on the kind of publicity they can get for it.



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MH

posted December 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm


I’m not a Christian, so don’t confuse my opinions with theirs.
I live in a major metropolitan area with many aggressive professional pan handlers. These people are obviously not desperate or living on the street, and will tell you a sob story which is completely different from yesterdays. Oddly the people who look obviously homeless tend to hang out in parks and not ask for money!
Seeing this kind of thing makes you completely skeptical when someone asks for money. It also causes compassion fatigue because there’s someone on nearly every street corner.
I am willing to give money to shelters or food banks because that seems more likely to go relief for someone who needs it than one of the aggressive pan handlers.
When I was in India I saw people who looked like they would be dead the next morning if they didn’t get food. I gave money to them because that kind of desperation is obvious. Some of the locals warned me that there were professional pan handlers among their ranks as well. But if there were none of them looked too good either.



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urname

posted December 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm


@ MH & Quinn: yes 2 u both.



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Lynn

posted December 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm


While it may be true that people in CC are less likely to give cash to the homeless (cant say it’s something I’ve noticed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true), it definitely is not unique to them. There’s a lot of valid reasons why people all across the board do not give directly to beggars, and I will admit I am one of them. Not because I’m scared they’ll drink it or buy drugs, but because I’ve come across some that were making a killing each day and were well off enough to not need to beg. I give to homeless shelters and food pantries instead.



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Emma

posted December 5, 2010 at 12:44 am


I had this happen just the other day, guy walking up and down the median with a cardboard sign, just having a conversation with himself.
I gave him a bill just so that he knew I’d seen him, acknowledged him as a human being. Didn’t much care what he did with his money after that.
http://growandbegrown.blogspot.com



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Christina

posted December 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm


Breaks my heart how many heartless people are out there. You all say I’ll give to a shelter or a food pantry or whatever, coming from someone whos been there on the street its NOT that simple. Shelters get filled, quite often need IDs which a homeless person normally doesn’t have (how can you get an ID in the mail with NO MAILBOX?), turn away those without children or with a drug/drinking problem. And a food pantry, well you need a home to put that food in, you can’t really carry around a huge box of food, can you? I’ve been that girl asking for money, yes I was a drug addict and sometimes it was for herion and sometimes it wasn’t, sometimes it really was for food or a place to sleep for the night. Its not a easy life, its not a fun life and its not anything anyone would ask for. Neither is a drug problem, I’m in a methadone program now and have been clean for 2 years, it took me a long time even with the wish in my heart. Now when I have it I do give, hell I did even when I was using, because I’d been in the same shoes. And if you don’t want to give someone some money, do give them food or something, because even if they want the cash for drugs they are probably hungry.
I know I was.



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Rich Kennedy

posted December 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm


One should not give good money after bad. It’s just not good stewardship. I don’t ignore folks with their hands out. Heck, I worship at a downtown church. if i didn’t want to deal with folks lookjing for a buck, I’d worship elsewhere. I will not do a dump and run. Too much risk of a con. I talk to folks who engage me. If the story is straight, I’ll give what I have, debit cards (hence little cash sometimes even for the Salvation Army pot). I’ve heard some pretty screwed up stories too while willing to go the extra mile. I’ve been willing to drive folks anywhere in the city if I don’t have money, or all of it budgeted. If there is protest that only cab fare will do (I’ve actually heard this line in protest of a ride from my church into the next county), fuggettaboudit.
You know, another form of hypocrisy that is little noted of PROGRESSIVE evangelicals is unquestioned taxes and govt. $$$’s going to the poor as giving to “the least of these” or standing with the poor. A posh on that! Most of that money will go to a bureaucracy that will fight fo its share of the pie before helping the poor. We are commaneded to help those in need, not employ third parties of any sort. Third parties should be engaged according to standards Health and Human Services would be ostracized if it were a charity.



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Jordan Harrington

posted December 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm


I just found this blog and wanted you to know that I love it and can relate (sometimes sadly, sometimes bitterly, sometimes humorously) to it in full. It’s so good to have something to read during the holidays while my mother sniffles about how she is just so *sad* for me because I’ll never feel the *happiness* she experiences *every* *day*.



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Christina (one more time)

posted December 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm


Theres a scandal in a local church here about a local youth pastor who has been accused of exposing himself to many young girls. He was already arrested for something like this before, but after completeing probation his charges got dropped. When I heard about it today it remnided me of your blog entry “hooking up with the youth pastor”……



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Doug

posted December 5, 2010 at 10:50 pm


Added to this is the contention of many churches, even small-town ones, that “we can’t leave the church unlocked [even during the day] because someone might steal something.”
So lock the office and leave the sanctuary open. What are people gonna steal? The pews??



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MH

posted December 6, 2010 at 9:25 am


Jordan, it’s ironic that your mother claims to experience happiness every day while simultaneously claiming that she is just so sad for you.



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Stephen Charles

posted December 6, 2010 at 11:10 am


Hmm, I don’t know. That irony is sort of funny, I guess. But The Salvation Army is a function of CC’s do-gooder outlook. And just the other day I was admonished by a toothless Salvation Army ringer when I passed by to “Get with the program, it’s Christmas!” So it seems to me that if CC isn’t busy being Republican to the guy on the street then it’s being Democrat to those of us passing by red buckets.
P.S. I normally dump whatever change I have into the bucket, but that night I just didn’t have any. As usual, when I got home my wife indicated I had purchased the wrong thing and I was summarily sent back to the same store. I dumped the change I got from the return into the same toothless ringer’s bucket and he said, “Merry Christmas,” and I whispered to my daughter that I guess that means I finally got with the program. She laughed, because it was funny.



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mjonthemove

posted December 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm


Moving out of the FREEZING midwest to Seattle a few years back, I was confronted by way more homeless people.
I didn’t like the idea of giving someone I didn’t know money. I still don’t. It seems weird. That being said, I HATE that most folks I knew treated another person as subhuman.
So, I put on my thinker and thought about needs.
I’m a touchy kinda guy. So, I determined that I would acknowledge my general uncomfortabilities with the money thing and not give money, but when I as solicited for money, I would offer them a hug instead.
Over my 2 years in Seattle, I gave out around 12 hugs. Every reaction I received was EXTREMELY positive, save for one. If I helped them feel normal, great. It absolutely changed me.



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Rich Kennedy

posted December 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm


mj, I like your discovery in principle. I’m not a stranger hugger myself, but I’ve found that it is crucial to treat those that most would despise with courtesy and respect. Look ‘em in the eye with a smile and engage them. Defend them when fellow parishioners wish they were not in our midst. If it’s not a con, I try to help them. Being dismissive and condescending even as you might decide to help is no consolation.



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Rachel

posted December 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm


mj,
that’s a great idea! I’ll keep that in mind next time I don’t have cash on me.



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Tony D.

posted December 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm


(Late to this party; sorry.)
Mt. 5:42 – - “Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.”
Luke 6:30 – - “Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods, do not ask them again.”
Nothing in there about “unless you think they’ll use it to buy booze,” is there? Christians who claim Jesus didn’t mean exactly what he says in these Gospel passages are often the same Christians who will howl in protest when other Christians say that, in Romans 1:26 – 27, Paul isn’t condemning “committed, monogamous relationships.”
Either you believe Scripture means what it says or you don’t, people…



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Susan

posted December 7, 2010 at 12:07 am


Doug:
“So lock the office and leave the sanctuary open. What are people gonna steal? The pews??”
No, they are gonna steal the brand new sound mixing board the church saved up for years to replace the old decrepit one, or they’ll steal musical instruments from the choir loft.
It is a sad situation. You want to be able to leave a sanctuary open so people can drop in to pray or meditate during the day… but then things like this happen.
Room in the Inn (RITI) is a well-established charity in many cities where homeless people are picked up and taken to different churches, where the members make them dinner (and usually sit and eat with them), they are able to take a shower, and get their laundry done. They spend the night on cots or mattresses at the church, and the next morning are taken back to the pickup point.
Depending on how “warm” a congregation is towards these visitors, there is a great demand for the chance to get on the list to go, and some churches are very popular while others are dreaded for their coldness and preachy-ness.
There is always a need for volunteers with this charity, so it’s a good place to put your donations and time.



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Kathy

posted December 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm


We all know, since Jesus, no human has ever been nor ever will be perfect. Who are we to judge anyone else? It is up to the person to do with the cash what he sees fit. Ever feel there’s no way out and you just want a drink?! I have a house and a job and still, sometimes I just want a glass of wine!



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Gaypet

posted December 9, 2010 at 11:50 am


Christina, good for you for getting and staying clean! I hope you are proud of yourself everyday.
I believe that many people have good intentions when they offer things like rides and hugs but I would NOT get in your car and I don’t want you to touch me.
Many people who are on the street are mentally ill. Some of them use drugs and or alcohol to self medicate. Not all. Many. And some of them don’t look homeless. They may be a “professional panhandler”. So what? There are a few where I used to live that do make their living through handouts. Because they can’t hold a job. If you don’t have a mental illness then I am very happy for you. But don’t pretend like you know anything about the struggles of those of us who do.
Give money. Give food. To an organization or individual. But if you don’t want your daughter to ride in a strangers car or be touched on the street by someone she doesn’t know then please don’t be so sure anyone else will want that either.



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MMOmisanthrope

posted December 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm


I don’t see why this is humorous. I think commenters have illustrated well why it’s not a good idea to give money, and many of those Christians who don’t are willing to help people in even greater ways. My mother for one works tirelessly in women’s prisons and has even sponsored paroled ex-cons for a bit in her own house. There are good reasons why not to do so.



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Your Name

posted December 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm


Love this blog usually, but you know what the majority of homeless people spend the majority of their money on? Alcohol and drugs. If you want to help these people, donate directly to the shelters and I really don’t see what’s wrong with getting them food, I think they’re much more blessed by receiving food, you actually get to chat to them too sometimes.



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Scott

posted December 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm


@Your Name(to afraid to post your name)
Oh really??
And what do you spend your money on? I just spent the last 2 days(literally) with a homeless family of 6. I was in the hospital with the mom(expecting twins) last night because she had now way of getting to the hospital with all of her kids. She needs money for a lot of things and not for a 40 of Old English(sorry to disappoint) but so she can have some fucking shoes for when she’s walking through 6 inches of snow in her sandals. The nearest soup kitchen is a mile away so you won’t be able to meet her there for some quality chat time to go home and brag about to your buddies about how you talked with a homeless person and had lunch.
You got 20 bucks that I can have so I can buy her some shoes. I have a paypal account that you can donate to and that way she won’t go and get drunk because I wouldn’t want to disappoint folks like you who are out there nice and warm tonight and have lots of time and energy to give input on “them”.



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Steven

posted December 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm


Far be it from me to read Scripture for an opinion on the matter:
Proverbs 31:6-9
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to him whose life is bitter.
Let him drink and forget his poverty
And remember his trouble no more.
Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all the unfortunate.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.



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Hollan

posted December 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm


Well said, Scott! Its so easy to dehumanize the homeless by sitting in our nice, comfortable homes and typing out our opinions. I used to feel the same about ‘them’; like they would just spend money on booze etc, but last year I volunteered with street kids; boys and girls as young as 12, some of them prostituting themselves for a few dollars. Until you see that kind of horrifying stuff up close, you have no idea what awful things people deal with. And yes, of course, a lot of them do use drugs and alcohol, but I could always put myself in their place and think: If I had to sell myself every night, wouldn’t I be addicted to something? It didn’t stop me from talking with them, making sure they ate something, got some warm gloves or a hat, and trying to get them to a shelter for the night. Plus they aren’t runaways. For many of them, the street is safer than their homes.
People come to live on the street through many different circumstances. In order to help, first you have to have a compassionate heart.
If you weren’t kidding, and you do have a Paypal account, please post the link so we can donate to this family.
Thanks!



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Scott

posted December 23, 2010 at 9:01 pm


I am not kidding about the account:
http://www.armonlinehelp.org
We are setting up “Christmas” at their house tomorrow. Thanks Hollan for getting out to folks that just need some respect and also so that we can recognize our great need for each other.
One more thing @Your Name:
You are wrong about the “majority of homeless people” remark. The majority of homeless people are NOT consumers of alcohol and drugs but of happy meals and sidewalk chalk. The demographic that makes up the largest percentage of the homeless are CHILDREN. For example – the family of six(soon to be 8) that I am working with is made up of a drug free pregnant mom(she was tested last night) with 5 beautiful smiley faced children. So 7 out of 8 of “them” are children. I didn’t find any crack or Mad Dog on them.



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Shyannah

posted December 29, 2010 at 3:43 am


I just stumbled upon this blog when I was researching tract ideas. I found your Tip For You Idea and loved it!
For all you that are worried about the homeless spending money on drugs, don’t just give them a cheesy granola! What kind of testimony is that? Remember you are representing God’s love for this person. You have no idea their past or circumstances. However, if you refuse to give them money, pick up a handful of McDonald’s gift cards and keep them in your glove box to hand out. For extra effect, take a address label and type God Loves You Where You Are. Be sure to hand them a tract as well and…for goodness sake, smile at them!



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Scott

posted January 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm


Why the tract? Are homeless people not able to already be followers of Christ? Does their state of poverty automatically mean that they are in need of salvation?
Perhaps the one in need of true salvation is the one who withdraws their hand …from giving money. Perhaps the one in true need of true salvation is not the homeless one but the one who will choose to give or ignore.



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Emily

posted January 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm


Giving money to the homeless, sadly, doesn’t usually help them. I wish it did, it would be so lovely to hand a homeless person money and not feel like I was personally giving them a drug. A friend of mine and her older sister started a ministry, and I started a branch of it in my area, that was designed to give Christians an alternative to giving the homeless money. This ministry is called Hope 2 Others (H2O). We put together bags with a non-perishable meal, a pair of socks, a water bottle, a gospel tract, a flier for the local homeless shelter, and a few other items. These bags are sold for around $3 (the cost of the items in the bag, H2O is totally non-profit) to people who want to be able to help the homeless. The idea is that these people will store a few bags in their car, and when they see a homeless person, they have a great way to help them. These bags help to meet their short term needs (their next meal, warmer feet etc.) along with their long term needs (the good news of Jesus Christ, a place to help them get back on their feet etc.). I hope you guys check out their site: h2obags.com
=)



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Scott

posted January 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm


I guess giving them a tract isn’t such a bad idea. I mean, after all, it would be helpful for them to have some small pieces of paper when they need to start a fire to keep warm.



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christy

posted February 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm


A commentator above points out that most homeless are children. After that category are veterans.
I think it’s worth pointing out that the Religious Right (yes, most American Christians) are historically pro-war and anti-public services, which results in people participating in acts of violence which, go figure, can mess with a person’s ability to get back into the “normal” scene once home. So send men and women to war, and let them come home to a life with very little support for post-traumatic stress disorders and the like. By that structured lack of governmental support to get back onto their feet, many such as these find themselves homeless.
If you vote for such policies, I urge you to consider your responsibility to these folks who once sought to serve you.
CARE for these people! Let them decide how to spend money themselves- they aren’t idiots. Normally, when people have little, they are in fact good stewards.



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The_L

posted February 17, 2011 at 9:25 am


This is one of the reasons I stopped dating a young Southern Baptist several years ago before things had the slightest chance of getting serious.
I had just given $10 to a woman who said she was behind on her rent, had lost her job, and desperately needed the money. He stared at me and said, “You know she’s probably going to waste it on alcohol or something, right?”
“That’s certainly possible, but what if she isn’t? How could I live with myself if I didn’t do something?”
That was when I realized that there was just no way this young man was worth my time.



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RedRover

posted February 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm


I am afraid that this is a point that is lacking in proof. I believe you are observing American culture which is often confused with Christian culture. I know many of your average “not very religious” or “not at all religious” American citizen who reason this way.
On the other hand I used to live in a smallish seminary town where the local homeless(who turned out to not be so homeless) would take advantage of the over generous spirit of the students. The students believed in ministering with a more personal spirit than just handing out cash. They would give rides, buy groceries, pay bills to a point where they were behaving a little unwisely concerning their own safety. I might add that seminary students are among the poorest students out there. I am not saying one shouldn’t give to the homeless, but, as in many such cases, good intentions can not be the only driving force. In fact, good intentions, without putting brain power and understanding behind it, can lead to many a tragedy. For example, if one were to give tons of t-shirts to an impoverished region, you would merely be taking away from the livelihood of many living there without making a lasting impact for good.



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RedRover

posted February 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm


@Emily
Cool idea by the way.



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stephanie drury

posted February 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm


All of my points lack proof. I can only speak from my experience in American Christian culture. It’s possible that not every American evangelical won’t give cash to the homeless, but all the ones I’ve ever known won’t, and for a long time I wouldn’t either.



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posted May 16, 2011 at 11:44 am

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posted 7:56:21pm Feb. 21, 2011 | read full post »

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