What would you have done?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by mima, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. mima

    mima
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    This past weekend while witnessing on the street a young man walked up to me and said, sir I am from Wyoming and there is five other people with me two of whom are small children three and four years of age. We are basically liveing in the car, and I was wondering if you can help us, anything would be a big help to us right now. There's the story here is the question, what would you have done in this situation?
     
  2. Blammo

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    We had just come out of a restaurant downtown one evening and a "homeless" guy approached us. He said he was hungry and wondered if we could give him a couple bucks. We just happened to have some left-over pizza. He refused it, said "I can't eat pizza, it gives me heartburn". So we asked him to follow us. We led him to a store across the street to buy him something to eat. He entered the store with us then disappeared. We looked around for him for a bit, then walked outside. Minutes later he emerged from the store carrying a bottle of wine. I guess someone gave him some money.

    Another time we offered a sandwich to a guy with one of those "will work for food" signs. He said he didn't want free food. So I told him we had some firewood he could stack. He said his back hurt. So we asked him what can you do. He said nothing really, "I just want money".

    I could tell many more such stories. But I'll just get to the point. Some people may very well need some assistance. That's why I think we should always offer. But, I think we should offer the specific needs, not the money.

    I don't know enough about their situation to answer "what would you have done?". But, if they were hungry, I would have offered them food, if needed gas, I would have offered to fill their tank. Whatever they needed I would have tried to help, but, it would not have been with money.
     
  3. NateT

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    A few years ago, our church hosted a free thanksgiving meal on thanksgiving day. We had a few people come in, had a group home come in, but it was pretty slow. Then we had this couple that appeared homeless (which was strange in this small town) and they came in. We had been holding a blanket drive, so we gave them a free blanket. I called the head of the deacons and he went and bought a gift certificate at the grocery store (with a "No lottery, no alcohol" exception) and then paid for them to stay that night in the local motel.

    Thankfully, they didn't turn down any of this, so they probably weren't there to take advantage of us, and they were so bad off in their clothes and car that if they did take advantage of us, we didn't really care.

    But I'd probably do what the above poster said, offer tangible items (gas, food, etc).
     
  4. donnA

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    We have a fund at church for people like this, I would have given them the number as I have done in the past. We will usually buy them food, gas if needed to get back on the road to their destination, diapers and formula if they need that, and even a hotel room late at night so they can get back on the road in the morning. The pastor handles all of it as other churches in town contribute also.
     
  5. richard n koustas

    richard n koustas
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    I would probably ask: six people living in one car? is that legal? what kind of car is it? how quickly can it do 0-60? how much rent do you collect for the privlege of living in a car? does the car, like, have a mail box on it? I would then offer to send them some food...at the car's address of course.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  6. Tom Bryant

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    Our church is on a major north/south highway in florida. Every fall people heading south stop by and give us the same story, usually they add that they just got out of the hospital and so have lost their jobs... then in spring the same people stop by heading north with the same tired old story.

    We have developed a thicker skin and just say no. People within our church are a completely different story.

    I have sometimes joked that if someone ever stopped by the church and asked for $5 to get beer, I'd give it to them just because they were being honest. :laugh:
     
  7. Hope of Glory

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    In the past, I have bought wine for someone who was honest and asked for it.

    However, most of these people are scammers. I was told from someone who was formerly one of the scammers is that if someone gets truly hungry, they are willing to work.

    Offer them food, offer them the opportunity to earn some money.

    After all, in the Bible, when they were commanded to leave the corners of their fields, the poor still were able to keep enough dignity to at least pick it themselves.
     
  8. menageriekeeper

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    Yep, I have to agree with the others. I'll give food or buy necessities, but I don't give money.

    Then again, if my husband weren't around I'm not sure I would have even spoken to him. If I had, I'd have referred him to my church. Like DonnA's church ours is part of a cooperative that provides for emergency needs.
     
  9. Marcia

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    Stories like this around here are always scams. When I lived in Atlanta, I was asked twice by the same person, a few months apart, for money to buy gas. He did not remember he had asked me a few months earlier, and I reminded him. He quickly walked away. I guess he suddenly remembered he had enough gas. :laugh:

    A similar thing happened here at the parking lot of the apts. where I just moved from. A guy stopped me while I was taking out trash and gave me a story about a wife and sick child, and said he could use any amount of money for food. I just didn't believe him.

    Sure enough, about 2 months later, as I was driving through my parking lot, here comes the very same guy - he was driving by me and he slowed down and signalled me, and then gave me the exact same story. I interrupted him and said, "Don't you remember you asked me this before, out in the back parking lot?" He suddenly had nothing to say and drove away. Don't know how I get these people twice.
     
  10. bapmom

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    We had a guy who came to us a few times asking for food money. We offered him a $50 gift card to Walmart (which sells food), but he refused it because he wanted cash.....hmmm. Ive had other times when people came to my door for "food money" but refused any offering of food from my kitchen.

    Its always best to just offer to buy the food for them.....there are times when you might be taken up on your offer and its a good time to witness to them.
     
  11. TaterTot

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    I would get them some food if I thought they were legit. I dont give money.
     
  12. Pipedude

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    Rather that attempting to sort out the true from the false (and they're all false), it is my practice to be aware of the agencies who deal with these kinds of "needs." They are equipped to deal with such people in a responsible way. And I say to the petitioner, "I give away a lot of money, but I don't give it away on the street. You need to contact XYZ."

    An experienced mooch will then immediately feign interest and try to inveigle me into putting him in contact with XYZ, giving him a ride, or bankrolling his bus fare--knowing that personal involvement is much more costly than a simple handout, and hoping that I will relent and pony up. If I'm free, I might offer him a ride, but I reassure him that I won't provide any cash at all. If I'm not free to offer that, I just say so plainly and bid him farewell.

    They do this all day. It's a numbers game. Ask enough people and you'll hit a sucker eventually. When he sees that I'm not one, he politely turns and continues his hunt like a mosquito looking for a place to land and suck. Nothing personal; he's just thirsty.
     
  13. LeBuick

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    Our Church get's food from the city food bank. We usually give them a little food and a night in a hotel but they must come to bibl study if they come by on Sunday. Our Church must be marked cuz they stopped coming by on Sunday.

    I also can't get the Jehovah Witnesses by anymore. It's been 3 or 4 months since I've seen them. The last time they were over I had to go down the street and get them. They bypassed my house??? I figure it's not me they are rejecting.....
     
  14. jesnipes

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    Our church is blessed. One of our members is a detective with the county police. I call him and have their story checked. If there is truly a need, they receive more than they thought (food, lodging, clothing, counselling, whatever). It is sad that I have to do this, have the police check on them, but there are so many who are not in need, they are simply living off the church. Others are trying to get money for drugs; a habit we will not support.:tear: Many children are suffering because their parents are too lazy to work, another situation we will not support. We try to give someone what they need, not necessarily what they want; this is true love. :thumbs:
     
  15. Hope of Glory

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    Because of our location here (you can't drive any further on the highway system in North America), we do end up with many people who come here to find their riches, but instead find themselves in trouble. They'll call the church, and we'll help out; but, we do investigate.

    But, we also get our fair share of pot-head hippie types who come here to find their riches, then find out they actually have to work for it, so they start scamming. We have no soup kitchens in town, but we do put them on a bus up to the city.
     
  16. LeBuick

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    I like that, a ticket out of here! JK :laugh:
     
  17. doodlebug

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    Lately, people are getting more bold about this in our area. One local news channel did an investigative report on people who stand on the side of the road with signs. They found out that quite a few of these people are well fed, have a roof over their head, and they make more money sitting out on the street than by having a regular job.
    The last person I saw out on the roadside, had a sign that read, "Why lie? I want the money for beer." and more people gave him money than those with signs that will work for food, etc.
    We refer all needy cases to several organizations in our community, and we will provide food or other needs if one of those organizations contact us with proof that the need is really there. I do not personally help anyone because I do not trust everyone who asks for a handout.
     
  18. PJ

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    Our church generally provides grocery/dept store/fuel gift certificates, or pays utility bills. But we rarely give out cash. We've had a few bad experiences and find it much more productive to give out gift certificates.

    My family recently made a visit at a local hospital, then stopped by White Castle for a burger on the way home. A man approached us stating he'd had one burger and was still hungry but was out of money. We told the cashier to give him whatever he wanted and paid the bill. Everyone was happy with that solution. We rarely give out cash.
     
  19. billreber

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    Need or Scam?

    A few years ago, I witnessed a strange event. A man was asking for food, and I saw someone come out of a sandwich shop to give the man a meal. As soon as they had left, this man threw the sandwich into a trash can!

    I approached him and told him I had seen what he did, and that if he was still there when I came out of the store, I would call the police. When I came out, he was gone. Imagine that!

    I have for many years refused to provide cash to anyone. I gladly will buy gas, groceries, etc., for people, but have also done MUCH more refferals to local organizations who can better screen out the needy from the scammers.

    Bill
     

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