Our nations homeless population numbers are astronomical, my heart breaks for those who are forced to live on the streets depending on the generosity of others for their next meal, I really get ticked when I see people abuse them by cursing at them or looking down on them as something subhuman, but what makes me even more furious is when someone takes food out of their mouths by pretending to be homeless and making people even more reluctant to help out for fear of being scammed.
I don’t think it is our responsibility to support each and every person on the street, and I know there are those who choose to live on the street for some unknown reason because this is what they want to do, the ones I worry about the most are those who have no other options and would do anything for a good hot meal and a bath.
Cindy and I help where we can, we have bought many meals for people and handed out a few dollars when we see someone we feel could use a meal, we have been scolded for doing this by some “Don’t give them your money, they will just use it for drugs” or “you know they are just scamming you” well folks I know that I have been scammed in the past, but I would rather lose a few dollars once in a while to someone who really doesn’t need it than pass up buying a burger for someone who is actually hungry.
About a month ago I saw on the news a “Homeless” pregnant woman standing on side of the road with her son panhandling with a cardboard sign, she had collected money from several people when she was spotted climbing into the passenger seat of a Mercedes and driving away with her husband and son, she was dropped off at another location and started her pitiful routine over again with her son by her side. Needless to say she was caught on camera and made the evening news, I can’t say if she was really homeless or not but it sure looked like she was doing OK driving away with her family in an expensive car.
A lot of people have lost their job and homes and are forced to live in their cars, and with this said how do you know who really needs your handout and who is just there to take advantage.
Our daughter came to visit for Christmas and while running around town she asked if we could stop by Starbucks so she could grab a coffee, the drive through was packed so we parked and she went inside, standing at the edge of the parking area was a man wearing a dirty torn jacket and a stocking cap, he had a backpack and was shivering in the cold and really looked worn out, this man was the epitome of homelessness, Cindy’s dad was looking at him and we were all deciding what we should do to help this man.
About this time a customer coming out of Starbucks stopped in front of him and pulled a handful of cash from his pocket and handed it to him, the man continued looking at the ground until the good Samaritan got into his car and drove away, this is when we noticed a miraculous transformation in our “homeless” soul.
With a spring in his step he went across the parking lot to a car, removed his backpack and jacket, threw them along with his stocking cap into the back seat and placed a new looking ball cap onto his head, he and a friend drove away and was flashing the cash and smiling at us as they passed by.
Cindy’s dad looked at me and said, “You know that really pisses me off”
As for giving to people on the street you have to go with your gut, we normally buy food and give to people and for the most part have been given many thanks for doing so, this was the first blatant display of greed that I have witnessed and shame on this man for taking funds away from someone who really needed it, and bless the giver who thought he was actually helping someone in need.
How do you react to those you see who are begging on the street?