Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Helping Homeless

It has happened to us all: we are walking outside in a city and we see a homeless person begging. He's holding a can asking for change as people pass him by.

We all think to ourselves: Should I give him money or shouldn't I?

I think it's a common debate we all have, because ever since we were little there have been numerous adults that told us, "Don't give homeless people your money, they will just spend it on drugs and alcohol, and you aren't really helping them."

While I am sure there are some homeless people out there who will take the money you give them and squander it away on alcohol and another hit of drugs, I believe there are more in the world that will actually use it for food.

Maybe that is the innocent, naive little girl in me, but I am still going to believe it. I am still going to believe that not all homeless people are lazy trying to live off of hardworking people and government. I still believe that there are some people who are honestly just down on their luck, sick, with no one to turn to.

I also don't think all these homeless people are spending the money they get from begging on alcohol and drugs. Last time I checked, both of these are not inexpensive commodities. So he is definitely not headed to a bar with the total of $0.73 he got that day. I've never seen a homeless person with a cup full of change.

But with even less than a dollar or a little more, he can buy food.

At the end of the day, I also think it comes down to that this is not a big, political question of whether we should or shouldn't give people handouts. It's a much more narrower reality. This is just you and a homeless person on a street corner in one city, in one country of the world.

And I would much rather be a few cents short with a compassionate heart than have the warmth of change in my pocket with a cold heart.

And that's my two cents.

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