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Soapbox: Giving money directly to the needy is wrong - The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
zimzat
zimzat
Soapbox: Giving money directly to the needy is wrong
When someone on the street gives change to a homeless person for nothing more than being asked "Spare change?" it does harm to everyone involved.

How did the person get to a situation where they need handouts? Were they fiscally irresponsible? Have they learned from their mistake and won't repeat it? Are they spending it on food and shelter, or mostly drugs (alcohol, cigarettes, weed, cocaine, whatever)? These are all questions it takes more than a quick conversation or transfer of money to determine and fix.

The person giving the money gets the illusion of an absolution for their consciousness thinking they've done good and don't need to take a more active role. In the end all they've done is prolonged the current state of the one they've given money to and set back any efforts that were under way to rehabilitate them.

Am I advocating we let the homeless stay homeless or that we start a campaign of genocide against homeless? No, not at all. Just don't enable the problem. Recognize that you're not qualified to assist them directly and give your money to organizations that commit their effort to sheltering the homeless or rehabilitating those in need.

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Comments
lakeguy From: lakeguy Date: September 16th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
makes sense to me
zimzat From: zimzat Date: September 17th, 2014 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)

That makes two of us at least. :-]

mai_neh From: mai_neh Date: September 17th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree!
andrewshead From: andrewshead Date: September 20th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I completely agree. Hannah works for Pathways to housing. Their main goal is to get homeless into housing and eventually jobs.

Money given to someone on the street will likely just end up continuing the cycle of poverty. Money given to a charity will hopefully have a longer term positive effect.

zimzat From: zimzat Date: September 21st, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, the biggest key part of that is hopefully have a longer term positive effect. Just the increased chance, from close to 0 to somewhere above 0, would make giving to a charity worth it.

Thanks for the link to the Pathways to housing group. When I start getting some positive cash I'll keep them in mind as somewhere to donate.
5 comments or Leave a comment