When People On Street Corners Ask You "For A Dollar or Two"...

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Jamal5000, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Jamal5000

    Jamal5000
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    ...do you give it to them?

    Today, like on every Saturday, I went to class at my local university. Each morning when I walk to the building, I see a small group of men (a different group every Saturday) sitting on the corner often with their wine and liquer bottles. On every pass-by, they ask me for a dollar or two or $0.75. They give me all kinds of reasons for requesting the money: needing bus fare, needing money to get driver's licenses, needing t-shirts, or needing food.

    From past experience, when you give beggers like this money, they use it to buy more beer, cigarettes, and drugs. In addition, when you tell them that you do not have any cash, they put you through a guilt trip, especially if they suspect you are a Christian.

    How do you handle this? God said to give to those in need, so I try to give them what I can even though I cannot do it every day or every other day. Still, even when I can give and knowing that beggers cover up their real desires for wanting money (to indulge in their habits), I wonder if my giving does more harm than good.

    Again, how do you handle people on the corner who ask you for money? Do you give it to them? Why or Why not?

    J5Grand [​IMG]
     
  2. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    I think that a great answer is in Acts. Peter and
    John were asked for money, but they gave the
    man what he needed instead--healing by the
    power of our God.

    When someone asks me for money, I never give
    them money. What I do, instead, is carry plastic
    grocery bags with handles in my vehicle. In each
    one is a can of soup, a package or two of those
    cheese crackers with peanut butter, a piece of
    candy of some kind, a box of fruit juice, a spoon,
    and an individual wet-wipe. Although my bag-
    menus change, this is basically what anyone
    who asks receives.

    If someone says, though, that they need money
    for diapers, we go buy diapers, and I keep the
    receipt. If someone needs gas, we go buy gas.

    One change I am making to my bag-menus this
    weekend, though, is that I am adding a paper
    with my testimony on it and some scriptures.
    That is much better than simply feeding the
    body.

    [ August 03, 2002, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    I never pass up an opportunity to do good to those who are in need. We have a food pantry. And a clothes closet.

    Man, I even stop at every "lemonade stand" and pay two bits for a cup (which I toss when out of sight) just to encourage those youngsters.

    We have had men needing money (will work for food signs) who have come and I offer them hard work for $5. NOT ONE has ever done it.

    It demonstrates who really is in need and who is just looking for people who are blinded by their compassionate nature. These are NOT truly berift beggers or poor by "bible definition" - those I am happy to help and do so regularly. Don't confuse them. What a joy to give a cup of cold water (or leftover lemonade from down the street) to the truly needed.

    Of course, when walking past such drunks and evil-doers, I get cussed or spit at sometimes. Most often they ignore me as I ignore them.
     
  4. Jamal5000

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    Abiyah,

    That sounds wonderful. I have never heard of that before.

    God Bless You! [​IMG]
     
  5. Jamal5000

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    Dr. Bob,

    lol...I don't quite know what to say. As always, you continue to amuse and educate in putting Christ in practice.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. rsr

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    It depends. A few weeks ago, a person accosted me for some tooth pain medication and help with buying an antibiotic.

    I went and get the medication and gave him what he said he needed for the antibiotic. Was he serious? I don't know. It doesn't matter. The gift was given in good faith.

    But I don't give to people who ask for change because I know where it's going. I think that's where Dr. Bob is coming from.

    [ August 03, 2002, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  7. FearNot

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    hey, that is a good topic. Last time I was asked by a lady for money to wash clothes I gave her a dollar, but I also gave her a track, I always try to keep one in my wallet. I normally don't give out money to be honest. In most cases the people asking are dunkards and I won't support their lifestyle. Those people I just walk by without acknowledging the request. This lady was sober so I decided to take the chance that she was being honest with me. I tend to take Paul's statement to heart, "Those who will not work, will not eat."
     
  8. tyndale1946

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    Jamal5000 Let me tell u about a little incident that happened at our church about 25 years ago. The worship service was finished and we were all waiting for lunch. All the men were discussing and fellowshiping with each other outside when a young woman approached. She said I have quite a few young ones and they are hungry and could you give me five dollars to buy food and milk for the baby. Every brother there is generous and none would turn down his neighbor if his neighbor was in need. Our Pastor step forward and said... No we won't do that but if you bring your family here we will all share lunch and your children can eat as much as they like as there is plenty for everyone. She just turned around and walked off... Our Pastor turned to all the men and said Well I guess shes not that hungry!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  9. Justified

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    What I do, is let them know that I have work for them. Then give them a garbage bag and let them know that if they clean up the corner I'll give them $5.00. The average corner takes a little less then 5 mins to pick up.

    Or, I'll take them to a resturant for a burger.

    And for those of you who would say "how humiliating!" Do the math. That comes out to $60.00 per hour! :eek:

    Never had any one take me up on either offer! :(

    NO WORK, NO EAT/$! :cool:

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)

    [ August 16, 2002, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: Justified ]
     
  10. post-it

    post-it
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    These type people and drunks are still the homeless, the poor, the ignorant, the mentally ill, the victims of circumstances and societies rejects... a situation that could strike any of us. I give them money every time.

    Of course I am bias, 20 years ago, I was one of those homeless people. Last year my company did over a Million dollars in sales. I have married since and have a family. But I was lucky and blessed.

    I still remember the faces of some who gave me the money to make it through the day when I needed it, I also remember those who scoft at me. I didn't need to be made any more ashamed as I already was.

    The drunks will either drink it or eat and drink your gifts. But either way, it will nourish their body and keep it alive. Yes, beer or wine contains carbohydrates they need. It is our “religion” that says to let someone starve rather than continue being a drunk. I say let God handle the moral aspect of it, we handle the nutrition part. Give and don't stop giving to all people in need.

    A gift with any requirement, is not a gift but rather a bribe. We Christians have this down to an art with the homeless and ignorant. :rolleyes:
     
  11. clipper

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    I do something kind of similar to what Abiyah does. I carry bags with a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a plastic knife to homeless people. Often I'll place in the bag information about local homeless clinics and shelters.

    [ August 04, 2002, 01:27 PM: Message edited by: clipper ]
     
  12. Justified

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    Post-it,

    Well seeing how you are so generous and helpful, maybe you can help our family out.

    I lost my job, they are evicting us from our home, because we are behind on rent.

    We have been living on peanut butter and bread and lots of soup.

    Our utilities are on the verge of being shut off.

    We just got a notice that they are repossessing our car. And our 91 Escort, that is paid for,is in the shop. Which when they come for our other car, we will have to put our 9 children in the Escort so we can get back and forth to church.

    We are in such a desparate situation! And what do my wife, children, and I say: In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me/us. [​IMG]

    We always seem to have something to eat, and have everything God has promised us that we would need. [​IMG]

    The point of this post was not to beg for help, but to show people that there are people out there that are truely in need of help and are willing to work for it.

    And then there are those out there that are in need of help, and can not help it, for what ever reasons. Like physical, mental or what have you. :(

    And then there are those who chose to need help and are willing to do nothing about it. :eek:

    So! What's the point? You say!

    It's quite simple, God gives us our needs and finances, and thus we should be a good stewart of His provisions. So when we go to help someone, we should be sure, as much as possible, that they are truely in need! ;)

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)

    [ August 16, 2002, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: Justified ]
     
  13. post-it

    post-it
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    I agree that it is up to us to change our situation. God will open the doors. The question was about the homeless that have gotten to the point of begging on the street. I got there and for a couple of days that how I ate. I slept behind an apartment Garbage trying not to get picked up by the cops. I was also worried that someone would slit my throat while I slept.

    So I went to work at a local car wash and at $3.25 an hour got myself back where life was worth living. But I will still give to those who are there at the end of their rope.

    As for you current situation, I remember eating just bread and mayo for about 2 weeks once, but I really wasn't near any type of desperate state, its when the food is gone that you know what hard times are really about, that is when begging on the street happens.

    PS Is your local church helping you with this problem? That is part of the reason we are members of a church, family takes care of their own?
     
  14. Janetta Hampton

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    I think you have to leave it to the Holy Spirit to convict you whether or not to give. We have no way of knowing what situation they are in. Just like in Post-it's case. We make alot of assumptions that they will just waste the money. Anyone that had seen Post-it during his time of trouble may have thought the same thing about him but he obviously was willing to do what he needed to to get out of it. Most of us waste so much money in a day eating out, buying soda's,etc. what does it hurt to give a few dollars to someone less fortunate. [​IMG]
     
  15. Dootles

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    I have given money, bought groceries, fast food, and given clothes to people on the streets asking for help.

    I saw for myself one or two of those who asked for help abuse my help and I'm sure they weren't the only ones. But, I always worry that what if someone who really needs help asks me & I say no, so I still give but I put the responsibility on them to use it wisely.

    Now if I give to someone on the street I tell them that I'm giving in the name of Jesus Christ.

    I have also kept business cards of places that hungry and/or homeless folks can go for help and gave them out.

    I used to live in Chicago and was asked for money constantly and this was a real tough issue because it can become very expensive to have 3 or 4 different people asking for something (usually money) every single day! Now I live in a suburb near St. Louis and rarely encounter it.

    I do get a lot of mail solicitations for various charity organizations and although I'd like to help most of them I can't affort to. So, I have one or two charities that I have a passion for and give mostly to them.

    Anyway, it's a tough balance between giving wisely with discretion and having compassion and an open hand and heart.
     
  16. Justified

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    Post-it,

    The reason I brought up this in this fashion, was because of some things I noticed about a lot of these type people.

    Where I was working, there were many ways to get to work, depending on traffic.

    And on these corners at the stop lights, were always beggers. One in particular, would show up at different corners of the city on different mornings, and his wife(?) would be at another corner. One day he came up to my car and asked for 50 cents for a cup of coffee, and then pointed to a woman and said, can I have another 50 cents for my wife? :eek:

    Another day he was on a different corner, and now his left hand was in a sock and all red. He made it look like he had a couple of fingers cut off. And about 4 days later he was on another corner with his left foot in a cast and his left hand was OK. :confused:

    About a week later he was dressed in nice clothes and selling papers and water on another corner and walking just fine. :confused:

    Then 2 days later he is dressed in ripped up baggy clothes and holey shoes, with a sign asking for money and holding a hat to put it in. :eek: :confused:

    He will not accept Gospel Tracks and got rude if you don't give him money. And while he was on one corner, you could drive around the block or blocks and their would be his wife(?) on another corner, either selling papers and water, or holding a sign and hat asking for money. :rolleyes:

    Now I have lived in 3 cities and seen much similar situations in each. Please don't get me wrong! There are people truely in need, and we need to take care of them. Now, if they accept my offer to take them to a burger place, then I have taken them there personally and bought them something to eat. While eating we would talk and usually I would be able to plant the gospel seed. And when I would offer work for them, and they accepted, I paid them. There were occasions that if they were accepting about taking work, I would just give them a couple of dollars.
    **************************************************

    As for our situation, our Pastor has offered to have the church help us, but there are people in a lot worse state then we. And besides our church is very small and I know where the money was coming from. Pastor was going to give it to us out of his own pocket. He works a part time job to make ends met himself.

    And besides, the good news is, I have another job interview to go to in the morning. And if the Lord wills, then I'll have a job! :D

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)

    [ August 16, 2002, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: Justified ]
     
  17. go2church

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    I usually buy food, but never give money and always invite to church, even though I know they probably won't come. In fact we helped a family today with a weeks worth of food. I have learned to accept the fact that the liars out there are very good at what they do and if they get me, so be it, my intent was to help. I believe God will honor that.
     
  18. Abiyah

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    I understand what it is like to be taken in by
    people; it has happened to me more than once.
    But when it happens, I turn it over to our God--
    not for judgment but for His salvation to come
    to them as well as the actually-poor.

    I just believe that my job, as one who can occa-
    sionally give, is to be prayerful and as wise as
    I am able.

    Thereare some types of instances in which I
    don't give, and that is when the person is belli-
    gerant, demanding, or they refuse my legitimate
    offer and want something else.
     
  19. Pennsylvania Jim

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    It's really hard to figure out, when the person asking for help ($$$) is a "stranger". Sometimes I do try to help. On the whole, for those times that I was able to find out what happened after giving the person the money, the average is that I have been taken for a "sucker". But that doesn't close my mind against helping again. I figure if someone shysters me out of a few bucks, it hurts them more than it hurts me, ultimately. But, we should be good stewards of the money God has given us.
     
  20. AVL1984

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    We have a man in the Nashville area who stands on an off ramp to Church Street. Almost every time I go to the specialist he has been standing there. Last year I tried to give him a couple of cans of beans, but he threw them back into the van. He wasn't interested in food. I noticed when he was throwing the cans back into the van that he had a WAD of cash under his shirt tucked in his pants. We've never since tried to give anything to him.

    We still try to give to the homeless in the area, and the drunkards on the street. We've helped hand out blankets in winter, and water in summer. Most will take the blankets in the winter, but not the water in the summer.

    You cannot help those who don't want to be helped and who aren't willing to help themselves.

    B.T.
     

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