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People Asking For Money
#1
This isn't a post that has anything to do with being gay but its something that's been on my mind. I can't tell you how many times I get stopped in the street asking if I have spare change, I wanted to post this to get some thoughts by my fellow users here of how they handle the situation if they've ever been in it. First and foremost, I don't like to lie. When asked for change, sometimes I've given it, sometimes I've tried ignoring the person asking, and sometimes I say "Oh I don't have any change, sorry". And nearly every time I say I don't have any, I usually do, and I feel bad that I just lied, and not just that, some people not all that ask for change I think really are homeless, and I think to myself, "What if that's me 1 day?". In a situation like this, is there really a right or wrong answer? A few times I've been asked and I didn't feel bad about saying I didn't have any because I could tell the person asking was going to blow whatever change I might have given them towards booze/drugs. To anyone that might read this, and has been in this situation, how do you handle it? Like to get some opinions.
#2
If they look like they have it rough I will usually give them money and I realize that some may use it to buy booze BUT ...they are sleeping on the street and begging for money and I just don't care if they want to use it to buy booze...if I were in their shoes I would probably want to get drunk too.
#3
SilentFilm1988 Wrote:This isn't a post that has anything to do with being gay but its something that's been on my mind. I can't tell you how many times I get stopped in the street asking if I have spare change, I wanted to post this to get some thoughts by my fellow users here of how they handle the situation if they've ever been in it. First and foremost, I don't like to lie. When asked for change, sometimes I've given it, sometimes I've tried ignoring the person asking, and sometimes I say "Oh I don't have any change, sorry". And nearly every time I say I don't have any, I usually do, and I feel bad that I just lied, and not just that, some people not all that ask for change I think really are homeless, and I think to myself, "What if that's me 1 day?". In a situation like this, is there really a right or wrong answer? A few times I've been asked and I didn't feel bad about saying I didn't have any because I could tell the person asking was going to blow whatever change I might have given them towards booze/drugs. To anyone that might read this, and has been in this situation, how do you handle it? Like to get some opinions.

I don't have all the answers to all the questions here, but I did want to address one thing because it comes up a LOT and I think it's something that sorta "divides" people in terms of their attitude about giving to others.

If you choose to give, do it because you want to help the person who's in a bad situation. Not because you feel assured (or not assured) that it will be put to a specific "good use." This doesn't just apply to panhandlers of course... many people (wisely) give the advice that if you loan or give money to family or friends... regard it as a gift. Don't keep tabs on what they spend it on, and don't expect to be paid back. Part with it only if you are okay with the possibility of never seeing it again, and possibly finding out it was spent on something you wouldn't have regarded as a good thing to spend on.

Too often I feel that "they'll probably just use it for booze/drugs" is too many people's justification for never giving or helping, and even for opposing safety nets or programs that give or help. There's no guarantee when you give to a panhandler they won't use it to get liquor or something-- just like there's no guarantee your friend won't when he asks to borrow $20, or you won't when you get $50 in a card for your birthday from your aunt. Remember that plenty of "normal", functional everyday people are chemically dependant as well-- even if it's very well hidden.

So long story short... do it if you want to make their day a little tiny bit easier and you feel comfortable parting with the money. You're giving to an individual, not to a charity devoted to spending money for a specific "constructive cause", so it's just an individual act of generosity. There's no way to know how it will be used by any stranger, and so your giving shouldn't be contingent on how they'll use it, just on your wish to help.

Like you, I'd also like to hear a good way to avoid (without just rudely ignoring) panhandlers when I am not comfortable giving. I've never found a good way apart from lying.
#4
yeah i've had that happen to me. i don't mean beggars standing aside the street, i mean someone approaching me personally, telling me some story and asking for money. there's been a lot less of that past year, but yeah, i know the thing.

i usually give it if it's a guy asking. i'm sexist like that. i remember once it was this guy maybe a couple of years younger than me who approached me and told me that he needed money for gas, he added some personal life details. it was all some story and i wondered about its truthfulness. but he was asking for a 1 Euro....you can't get anything for that, not food, nothing. i gave him all the change i had in my pocket which was 3-4 Euros maybe. it doesn't kill me. he must have had a reason asking a complete stranger, whatever it was. you don't just get up and do that if everything's okay in your life. people have friends and family to ask loose change from.

girls have asked me money a couple of times too, from what i remember. but i didn't give it, although i had change in my pocket. it was the same, i need money for a bus back home that is 200 km away, or something like that. i don't know if any of these were true stories or just something they come up with to make the act of asking money from a stranger look more okay, or acceptable; or get money more easily.

anyway yeah, i give it when approached like that, but only to guys.
#5
This may sound rude/insensitive/callous any word you want to use, I almost never give to panhandlers.

If I'm going to give money away, I'm giving it to a charity like GMHC, Wounded Warriors, a soup kitchen, or something like that.

As for not feeling rude or guilty, I look at it this way. I work hard for my money, and while I'm not living paycheck-to-paycheck, I'm not rolling in dough either, and since I earned it, I can do with it as I please, and owe no one any explanation.
Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: 
''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
#6
CellarDweller Wrote:This may sound rude/insensitive/callous any word you want to use, I almost never give to panhandlers.

If I'm going to give money away, I'm giving it to a charity like GMHC, Wounded Warriors, a soup kitchen, or something like that.

As for not feeling rude or guilty, I look at it this way. I work hard for my money, and while I'm not living paycheck-to-paycheck, I'm not rolling in dough either, and since I earned it, I can do with it as I please, and owe no one any explanation.

I know where you're coming from. There's a gas station on the way home from work were I satisfy my energy drink addiction. At least once a month I get a story about needing a few dollars for gas. I tell them to pull around to the pump and I'll put a couple gallons on my card. Never had a taker. Got bathed in profanity once.

Now street musicians? If they're even trying to be good I'll throw a buck in their pot.
#7
I like the replies so far, I want to point I've been asked by men and women. Regarding the Booze/drugs in my original post... Once or twice I gave change Reluctantly, I say that because I think "this guy doesn't look so hard up, and he's going to tell the same BS story to every other person that walks by". Basically sometimes I feel good about myself to certain people I've given it to, and sometimes I felt like a, and the person who asked took me for a complete S.A.P.
#8
Maybe i am a little bit cruel because i always refuse to give them money. Usually i just walk away.
They can walk on the streets for a whole day, which means they do have healthy body, why not get a job? I can not even walk on the street for 3 hours.
I have seen a woman. She was about 45-50 years old. She often came to my college and knelt there for a day shaking her bowl and begging for money. Sometimes she even stayed at the middle of the zebra crossing for several hours because there were many students crossing it and maybe she got the better chance to get money. It`s not only dangerous but also creepy.
I also heard some news that son dropped his parents on the streets to beg for money and took them back home in the nights and took the money.
#9
Buzzer Wrote:Like you, I'd also like to hear a good way to avoid (without just rudely ignoring) panhandlers when I am not comfortable giving. I've never found a good way apart from lying.

I have the answer to this question.

1) DO NOT make eye contact. EVER. In this way, you are acknowledging them to the point where you feel approachable. Where they think you will see their hardship and feel bad for them, thus give them something.

2) When you see you are approaching a panhandler, put your head down. This makes you less approachable, and thus they are less likely to speak to you directly.

I know that in Western culture, these are by some considered rude. But, maybe it will help to realize that isn't the case in -all- cultures.

It may seem callous. Maybe it is, but there you have it.

I used to feel guilty about it, but the fact is I struggle hard, work HARD for my money. And I don't have enough of it to save everyone who asks for a handout. Hell, I barely have enough to keep myself fed. I just can't save everyone, no matter how much I want to.
[Image: Signature500.jpg][Image: Signature502.jpg]
#10
Buzzer Wrote:I don't have all the answers to all the questions here, but I did want to address one thing because it comes up a LOT and I think it's something that sorta "divides" people in terms of their attitude about giving to others.

If you choose to give, do it because you want to help the person who's in a bad situation. Not because you feel assured (or not assured) that it will be put to a specific "good use." This doesn't just apply to panhandlers of course... many people (wisely) give the advice that if you loan or give money to family or friends... regard it as a gift. Don't keep tabs on what they spend it on, and don't expect to be paid back. Part with it only if you are okay with the possibility of never seeing it again, and possibly finding out it was spent on something you wouldn't have regarded as a good thing to spend on.

Too often I feel that "they'll probably just use it for booze/drugs" is too many people's justification for never giving or helping, and even for opposing safety nets or programs that give or help. There's no guarantee when you give to a panhandler they won't use it to get liquor or something-- just like there's no guarantee your friend won't when he asks to borrow $20, or you won't when you get $50 in a card for your birthday from your aunt. Remember that plenty of "normal", functional everyday people are chemically dependant as well-- even if it's very well hidden.

So long story short... do it if you want to make their day a little tiny bit easier and you feel comfortable parting with the money. You're giving to an individual, not to a charity devoted to spending money for a specific "constructive cause", so it's just an individual act of generosity. There's no way to know how it will be used by any stranger, and so your giving shouldn't be contingent on how they'll use it, just on your wish to help.

Like you, I'd also like to hear a good way to avoid (without just rudely ignoring) panhandlers when I am not comfortable giving. I've never found a good way apart from lying.

I always regard any money I "loan" as a gift and my deciding factor is that if I wouldn't give it to them I won't loan it to them. When the money leaves my hands it leaves my mind. I am not sure but I think probably most everything I have ever loaned anyone I have gotten back...


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