Since moving to Houston, I have encountered dozens and dozens of….beggars! Living in Mississippi for two decades, I never saw panhandlers (not to say they don’t exist). It’s sad to see so many people struggling, and I consider myself to be a very kind, considerate person, but I do not give money to people on the street. I never have, and I never will. Here’s why:
I am not supporting a “habit”
I often wonder what these people are going to use the money for. Are they going to get high? Are they buying drugs or alcohol? You can never be sure…and it really raises an eyebrow when they have a cigarette in one hand. Is that where the money is going??
You’re a grown up
I don’t feel obligated to take care of another grown up. Sometimes I see signs that say “Need rent money.” It seems kind if harsh, but that is not my problem. You are a grown up. As a grown up, you have certain responsibilities. It is in no way my responsibility to help another grown up with rent. I am not rich. I have two kids and rent due on the 1st of the month. I could use rent money just as much as the next person!
A man that does not work does not eat
If you are not trying to better your circumstance by applying for jobs or offering some type of service (painting, mowing lawns, etc) to earn money, you don’t deserve to eat. Period. Those that can work, should.
Hungry & Homeless
No one should go without food in his tummy and a roof over his head. That being said, there is help. There are shelters everywhere. Some provide apartments, food, clothing medical/dental assistance, and even education/job skills. Things are in place to help those people get on their feet. Again, there is no way for me to know if they are taking advantage of these opportunities, so I assume they aren’t.
Of course, I feel sympathy whenever I see a dirty man sleeping beside a dumpster, but would I give him money…no. Food (if I had extra)? Yes! Clothes (if I have extra)? Yes! Maybe I am not as nice as I’d like to think I am. Maybe I’ve read one too many stories about people pretending to be homeless, but I am sticking by my views. For the people that donate their spare change, good for you. I am a good person; however, I will not be taken advantage of or made to feel I have a duty to help others. Maybe if I was a millionaire, I would stuff everyone’s cups with hundreds, but I’m not so until then…don’t hold you breath for a dollar from me.