A question arose within a group of my friends today. And that question is "should we or should we not help the homeless." There where several responses to this question. One response that came about was to buy food for the individual instead of giving them money for the simple fact that you can control what happens to your money. In response to this a member of the group said that he was in a McDonald's in NYC and saw a Christian man buy a homeless person a meal and once the Christian man left the McDonald's the homeless person took the meal up to the counter and said that there was something wrong with the meal and received the money back for the meal and left the McDonald's.
Another person in the group saw a person on the side of the street with a sign that said "need money for beer." He had a bag of pretzels and gave him the bag of pretzels. He felt that what goes better with beer than a bag of pretzels.
A couple in the group went to Baltimore on a trip. While there they did some sight seeing and came across a homeless person and gave the person a couple of bucks. Later that evening they where having a nice dinner out and the so called homeless person came in and had dinner themselves. However, this so called homeless person had more expensive clothes on and had a nicer dinner then the couple who gave him a couple bucks earlier in the day.
In my experience living in a big city and working downtown you see the same homeless people on the same street corner every day. I have even given them a buck or two to have them come back to me a couple blocks from where I gave them a buck and ask for another one.
I think the best thing for one to do is to donate either time or money to rescue type missions that help the homeless. That way you know where your money is going and you know that the money is being put to good use.
Does anybody else have any good thoughts that they would like to share?