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Author Topic: Religious requirement to help lying panhandlers  (Read 7406 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: July 23, 2013, 05:11:34 PM »

Are Orthodox Christians religiously required to give money to panhandlers with absurd, made-up stories?
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 05:15:17 PM »

Are Orthodox Christians religiously required to give money to panhandlers with absurd, made-up stories?
you are t required to give money to anybody. You see when a state agency is taking them from you in order to fund some social program is doing a double good: the funding of that program but also robs you of that smug fuzzy feeling that charity engenders in every pious soul.
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 05:19:39 PM »

I agree with St. Maximos, so far as I understand him, when he said:

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of the good intention." - St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters On Love, 1, 24

The issue for me would be not whether people are honest, or virtuous, or polite, or "deserving" in those kinds of ways, but simply whether they needed the help.
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 05:21:54 PM »

I agree with St. Maximos, so far as I understand him, when he said:

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of the good intention." - St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters On Love, 1, 24

The issue for me would be not whether people are honest, or virtuous, or polite, or "deserving" in those kinds of ways, but simply whether they needed the help.

But the lack of a credible story might suggest that they do not need the help.
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 05:26:18 PM »

Yeah, definitely possible. There's a woman who used to stand at the back entrance of Walmart here and ask for money. I later overheard people on the bus talking about her as we passed, saying that she had a house and car and whatnot and absolutely didn't need the money. It's hard to know what her situation was in reality though.   So... yeah, I'm not sure, it's probably tough to tell sometimes...
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 05:29:11 PM »

St. John Chrysostom says to give to EVERYONE who asks for money without exception in On Wealth and Poverty. That being said, seeing how many vices I already have, I don't want God smiting me for not taking care of those who ask me for money. I give charity to everyone without exception. My father worries me as he never gives money to the homeless and often laughs at them when we drive past them. He may have a big spot in Orthodox Hell reserved for him.
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 05:30:22 PM »

I agree with St. Maximos, so far as I understand him, when he said:

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of the good intention." - St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters On Love, 1, 24

The issue for me would be not whether people are honest, or virtuous, or polite, or "deserving" in those kinds of ways, but simply whether they needed the help.

But the lack of a credible story might suggest that they do not need the help.

What do you mean by credible story?
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 05:37:47 PM »

I agree with St. Maximos, so far as I understand him, when he said:

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of the good intention." - St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters On Love, 1, 24

The issue for me would be not whether people are honest, or virtuous, or polite, or "deserving" in those kinds of ways, but simply whether they needed the help.

But the lack of a credible story might suggest that they do not need the help.

What do you mean by credible story?


Well the guy I met claimed he was deaf and mute and was the brother of a basketball player that doesn't exist (I know the roster of the team) then he said "Thank you" when I gave him a five.
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 05:42:31 PM »

St. John Chrysostom says to give to EVERYONE who asks for money without exception in On Wealth and Poverty. That being said, seeing how many vices I already have, I don't want God smiting me for not taking care of those who ask me for money. I give charity to everyone without exception. My father worries me as he never gives money to the homeless and often laughs at them when we drive past them. He may have a big spot in Orthodox Hell reserved for him.
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 05:47:48 PM »

Are Orthodox Christians religiously required to give money to panhandlers with absurd, made-up stories?
you are t required to give money to anybody. You see when a state agency is taking them from you in order to fund some social program is doing a double good: the funding of that program but also robs you of that smug fuzzy feeling that charity engenders in every pious soul.

Wow.  That makes a lot of sense.



OP - The smelly bum is probably just going to spend it on booze.  So I usually give the money to them.  I can respect that.

Besides, the last thing I need to have happen is find out on the last day that it was really one of His angels in disguise trying to decide if I should be cast wiener first into the fiery pit or not, and then this end up being the deciding testimony.
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 05:52:57 PM »

I don't think there's a requirement to throw away discernment. In America, there are many people with real needs, but few if any of these are panhandlers. Even in other countries, panhandling is something of an industry for some. Here, several homeless people sell a newspaper. They both benefit from the sales, and take part in production to some extent. This seems better--to make an exchange. The paper is a dollar, but you give five, and either way, the person selling earns it all. And the person buying the newspaper gets some good information about the city's homeless community and their needs and problems. Anyone can go downtown with a cup or make a sign.
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2013, 08:36:32 PM »

I've had panhandlers had me back what I gave them, telling me it wasn't enough.

There are those who panhandled by the door of McDonalds, but when you brought them a meal complained that they wanted the money (the McDonald's I'm speaking of was a short walk to a liquor store.

Then there is the case we had in Chicago of a burn victim on the subways.  He used to have a pail with a sign that he was raising money for an operation for plastic surgery.  He was, in fact, horribly disfigured by severe burning.

Fame became the undoing of that case: many surgeons and clinics offered to do the surgery for free. It turned out that the victim was being used by his brother (or his cousin, I don't recall exactly), who were using his misfortune to enrich themselves.  Eventually, the press got a hold on the story, and explained the whole scam.  Shortly thereafter, I never saw him again (at the time I constantly was using the subway system).

Of course, augustin's fuzzy smug feelings for statism would solve the problem by making us all poor.
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2013, 08:38:15 PM »

I don't think there's a requirement to throw away discernment. In America, there are many people with real needs, but few if any of these are panhandlers. Even in other countries, panhandling is something of an industry for some. Here, several homeless people sell a newspaper. They both benefit from the sales, and take part in production to some extent. This seems better--to make an exchange. The paper is a dollar, but you give five, and either way, the person selling earns it all. And the person buying the newspaper gets some good information about the city's homeless community and their needs and problems. Anyone can go downtown with a cup or make a sign.
I used to regularly buy the "Streetwise" newspaper until I actually read one.  It was full of all those fuzzy smug feelings that augustine shares with us.
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2013, 08:46:44 PM »

Are Orthodox Christians religiously required to give money to panhandlers with absurd, made-up stories?
you are t required to give money to anybody. You see when a state agency is taking them from you in order to fund some social program is doing a double good: the funding of that program but also robs you of that smug fuzzy feeling that charity engenders in every pious soul.

Meh. I give money to someone who asks, he or she might "misuse" it somehow (I don't consider buying alcohol to be a serious misuse. Proverbs has something to say about giving the poor wine so they may forget their troubles. I don't always carry a bottle of wine on me) or not really need it, but whatever. I give money to the state agency, it WILL misuse it. Render to Ceasar, but if you want the poor to be fed you have to do it yourself.
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 08:57:13 PM »

In Pittsburgh they actually put up billboards and signs asking that people not give money to panhandlers but instead donate to the missions and soup kitchens in the city. This is probably the wisest course of action, your helping the poor and not enabling an addiction.
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 09:28:32 PM »

I gave a panhandler a twenty once and his response was: "I bet you have a hot woman at  home to ****.  I would be handing money out too if I had that."

I didn't really have a response for that.  I bid him good day.  Undecided



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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2013, 09:47:21 PM »

Are Orthodox Christians religiously required to give money to panhandlers with absurd, made-up stories?
you are t required to give money to anybody. You see when a state agency is taking them from you in order to fund some social program is doing a double good: the funding of that program but also robs you of that smug fuzzy feeling that charity engenders in every pious soul.

Meh. I give money to someone who asks, he or she might "misuse" it somehow (I don't consider buying alcohol to be a serious misuse. Proverbs has something to say about giving the poor wine so they may forget their troubles. I don't always carry a bottle of wine on me) or not really need it, but whatever. I give money to the state agency, it WILL misuse it. Render to Ceasar, but if you want the poor to be fed you have to do it yourself.
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2013, 10:55:19 PM »

OP - The smelly bum is probably just going to spend it on booze.  So I usually give the money to them.  I can respect that.

Besides, the last thing I need to have happen is find out on the last day that it was really one of His angels in disguise trying to decide if I should be cast wiener first into the fiery pit or not, and then this end up being the deciding testimony.
Sometimes helping a guy with a serious jones is an act of kindness.
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2013, 11:10:58 PM »

 I used to buy them cigarets or give 'em some beer as I was always carrying some around. once a guy, in uptown, started telling me this bs story that his mom died and he needs money for the train to go to the funeral. i told him, cut the crap, do u want cigarets? he said yes, i bought him a pack and he was happy.  anyways is little on the long run. plus it provides that despicable fuzzy feeling. phew...
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2013, 11:17:30 PM »


If you have it, give it.

Don't judge them.

If you are going to pass judgment on them, it is best you not give them anything.

However, poor, dirty, smelly, addicted, etc. they are....they wish they weren't.  They wish they had our problems and our worries, which are negligible compared to theirs.

If you are capable of helping them more than just "feeding" their addiction by giving them a few bucks, do that, too.

Help everyone you see, and even look for those whom you can help.

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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2013, 12:36:43 AM »

I used to buy them cigarets or give 'em some beer as I was always carrying some around. once a guy, in uptown, started telling me this bs story that his mom died and he needs money for the train to go to the funeral. i told him, cut the crap, do u want cigarets? he said yes, i bought him a pack and he was happy.  anyways is little on the long run. plus it provides that despicable fuzzy feeling. phew...
it's the nicotine.

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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2013, 12:56:50 AM »

I don't like to judge the homeless or the panhandlers. Christ said to give to ALL without asking. St. John Chrysostom said that whenever we question their motives, we put ourselves on the judgment seat. I don't want to have God bring up against me all of the times He gifted me with something good and I used it in an immature way, so I'm definitely not going to harass the poor who ask for money from me.
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2013, 01:05:50 AM »

I don't give money to panhandlers unless they play good music.  The last time I gave any money to a panhandler was in Las Vegas in 2010.

I was once broken down on the side of a highway in 100 degree heat.  I didn't expect kindness from strangers; however, 2 SUVs gave me water.
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2013, 01:12:09 AM »

In Sunday school the kids assembled little baggies of food to give to those that panhandle. We could put like $5 in the bag to go with the food.

I did a lot of panhandling as a teen. I was given $20 a week by my parents to buy the majority of my own food. I also worked to earn money to buy my own shoes/clothes. If I wanted to buy a new pair of those little cotton mary jane shoes from the asian market, I panhandled for the difference between what I had, and what I needed.

So I do think some panhandlers are genuine. I didn't use the money I panhandled for clothing/food to buy alcohol/drugs. When I was going to use the money for those things, I was quite open and honest about it Wink Although I am aware that is far from the norm.


When we first moved to this area there was this woman always out front of the local drugstore panhandling to get away from an abusive husband. She looked awful; just covered in bruises and one eye was near swollen shut. It turns out that the horrific injuries she appeared to have were a combination of birth marks and makeup. A church that was about a block away kept offering to get her into a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. She kept refusing to go.

A man I knew growing up was a famous panhandler in the area. He was like clockwork at the same places. When he died, we found out that he had hundreds and hundreds of jars of change in in house, and he was indeed quite wealthy. Panhandling was his way of getting attention. He never needed the money, he just liked getting the money.

In the end, we shouldn't assume that people asking for money are lying automatically. But we shouldn't assume they are telling the truth either. Strike the middle ground and be kind. There was a guy with a sign asking for money to buy groceries. Instead of giving him money, I bought him about a week worth of food. He continued panhandling on the corner even after he had groceries for a week. My guess is that groceries weren't what he was looking for. On the other hand, there was a guy that asked for money to buy some food when I was at the gas station. I didn't have money to give, so I gave him the baggie of food. He voraciously ate the food and thanked me profusely. He was indeed very hungry, and that baggie of food was the first meal he had eaten in days. Another man asking me for food near a local fast food eatery stopped asking for money for food when I gave him a meal from the fast food joint.

The test of whether or not someone is genuine is if they stop looking for handouts after they reach their goal. Because when you panhandle with a purpose, you don't just keep asking for more after you have achieved that purpose.
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« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2013, 01:56:08 AM »

For the record; I don't give money to career panhandlers. If it is the same person, at the same corner on a schedule, they aren't panhandling for survival, they are working and punching the clock in a career.

As to homeless people not wanting to be homeless? Many don't want to be homeless, but many do want to be homeless. There is a freedom in homelessness that they don't necessarily want to give up. There are homeless people in my city that have been given apartments that still choose not to live in the apartment most of the year because in the spring/summer/fall they enjoy living on the streets.
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« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2013, 02:24:16 AM »

Once, while in my 20's, I gave money to a fellow on my block who knocked on our door and asked for it. Not long afterward his wife balled me out for it -he was an alcoholic -I was causing harm not only to the man, she said, but to his whole family.

Since that time I have given food, jars of peanut butter, towels, soap, and the like to homeless people that really needed something.

I never give cash to a panhandler any longer but always ask if there is some other concrete way I can help. Often they flatly refuse anything other than cash. One fellow claiming to want to "feed his family" refused an offer to take him to a store to buy a few-weeks supply of groceries and deliver it to his house after he gathered he couldn't get cash money.

A couple of weeks ago a lady in a Wal-Mart parking lot asked for enough gas money to get home. I asked her how far away she lived -10 miles. I said sure, but do you mind if I look at your gas gauge first? When she put the key in it was already all the way full. "Sorry, I can't help you this time" I said, just before reporting her to security.
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« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2013, 02:30:34 AM »

I agree with St. Maximos, so far as I understand him, when he said:

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of the good intention." - St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters On Love, 1, 24

The issue for me would be not whether people are honest, or virtuous, or polite, or "deserving" in those kinds of ways, but simply whether they needed the help.


I agree. And even if their story is complete B.S., they must be needy enough to concoct their tales. Obviously, if you have given to the same person repeatedly and observed them purchasing liquor or drugs with the money, then it is not uncharitable to cease continually giving to them. But I don't like to make assumptions about anyone based on first appearances. And even if they do use my money to get a fix, that fix may actually save their life at that moment. Christ is often disguised in the beggar. If I can give Christ some change, it seems the least I can do.


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« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2013, 02:53:13 AM »

Living in America, with all the taxes we pay, federal income, gasoline, state income, county taxes for a public hospital, property taxes, sales taxes, local income taxes, et. al. (we work four months of the year just to pay taxes), there is abundant welfare to assist the basic needs of the beggars on the street.  They can collect disability, food stamps---secure food from the food banks and other private support, Medicaid, sleep in enclosed homeless shelters, and who knows what else.  I seldom succumb to the beggars who are only emboldened when we respond affirmatively to them.  Their needs are well taken care of through numerous government programs, supported by the excessive taxation upon me and the working American populous, and by church and non-profit organization which serve them.  I also contribute to Orthodox Church charitable concerns such as IOCC and FOCUS, and two local Orthodox entities that provide support to the less fortunate, though not substantially.  If it weren't for the exorbitant taxes we pay, I would be more supportive of responding positively to beggars and would be more supportive of charitable concerns.
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« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2013, 03:04:53 AM »

Living in America, with all the taxes we pay, federal income, gasoline, state income, county taxes for a public hospital, property taxes, sales taxes, local income taxes, et. al. (we work four months of the year just to pay taxes), there is abundant welfare to assist the basic needs of the beggars on the street.  They can collect disability, food stamps---secure food from the food banks and other private support, Medicaid, sleep in enclosed homeless shelters, and who knows what else.  I seldom succumb to the beggars who are only emboldened when we respond affirmatively to them.  Their needs are well taken care of through numerous government programs, supported by the excessive taxation upon me and the working American populous, and by church and non-profit organization which serve them.  I also contribute to Orthodox Church charitable concerns such as IOCC and FOCUS, and two local Orthodox entities that provide support to the less fortunate, though not substantially.  If it weren't for the exorbitant taxes we pay, I would be more supportive of responding positively to beggars and would be more supportive of charitable concerns.


But if Christ is in the beggar, then that's all that matters. We won't be judged by our government, by how much we pay in taxes, or by the charitableness of our society. We will only be judged by what we did unto Christ as He appeared to us as a person in need.


Selam
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« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2013, 09:23:22 AM »

Living in America, with all the taxes we pay, federal income, gasoline, state income, county taxes for a public hospital, property taxes, sales taxes, local income taxes, et. al. (we work four months of the year just to pay taxes), there is abundant welfare to assist the basic needs of the beggars on the street.  They can collect disability, food stamps---secure food from the food banks and other private support, Medicaid, sleep in enclosed homeless shelters, and who knows what else.  I seldom succumb to the beggars who are only emboldened when we respond affirmatively to them.  Their needs are well taken care of through numerous government programs, supported by the excessive taxation upon me and the working American populous, and by church and non-profit organization which serve them.  I also contribute to Orthodox Church charitable concerns such as IOCC and FOCUS, and two local Orthodox entities that provide support to the less fortunate, though not substantially.  If it weren't for the exorbitant taxes we pay, I would be more supportive of responding positively to beggars and would be more supportive of charitable concerns.


But if Christ is in the beggar, then that's all that matters. We won't be judged by our government, by how much we pay in taxes, or by the charitableness of our society. We will only be judged by what we did unto Christ as He appeared to us as a person in need.


Selam

You are missing the point.  He cannot give more to charity after he has already been robbed blind to pay for the .govs to inefficiently provide welfare.  I would bet that the Lord gave that guy the Good Samaritan picked up a break.
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« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2013, 09:32:52 AM »

Living in America, with all the taxes we pay, federal income, gasoline, state income, county taxes for a public hospital, property taxes, sales taxes, local income taxes, et. al. (we work four months of the year just to pay taxes), there is abundant welfare to assist the basic needs of the beggars on the street.  They can collect disability, food stamps---secure food from the food banks and other private support, Medicaid, sleep in enclosed homeless shelters, and who knows what else.  I seldom succumb to the beggars who are only emboldened when we respond affirmatively to them.  Their needs are well taken care of through numerous government programs, supported by the excessive taxation upon me and the working American populous, and by church and non-profit organization which serve them.  I also contribute to Orthodox Church charitable concerns such as IOCC and FOCUS, and two local Orthodox entities that provide support to the less fortunate, though not substantially.  If it weren't for the exorbitant taxes we pay, I would be more supportive of responding positively to beggars and would be more supportive of charitable concerns.


But if Christ is in the beggar, then that's all that matters. We won't be judged by our government, by how much we pay in taxes, or by the charitableness of our society. We will only be judged by what we did unto Christ as He appeared to us as a person in need.


Selam
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« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2013, 10:46:02 AM »

erm...
we should get to know the begger (british english for that word panhandler that i never saw before).
if you make friends with him/her, you will find out what he/she really needs, whether it is friendship, housing or encouragement to earn a living through other means.
surely giving your time is the best and most useful sacrifice. (and if the begger turns out to be Christ, you may get to wash his feet!)

if the begger is very far from your home and you are not able to stop for long enough to get to know him/her , then buying food for him/her is the best option.

if you are living in a developing country and the begger is thin or wearing torn and dirty clothes, then maybe giving money is right, but i have no personal experience of this situation.
i have been poor, and have been given food from churches reaching out to poor students before. i was always grateful.

disclaimer: make friends with beggers in public, well lit areas!
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« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2013, 11:14:55 AM »

Help does not necessarily translate to giving money. Time is more valuable than money. If you have qualms about giving cash to people of dubious need, go volunteer for a charity that aids those who really are in need.
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« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2013, 08:49:04 PM »

I don't think there's a requirement to throw away discernment. In America, there are many people with real needs, but few if any of these are panhandlers. Even in other countries, panhandling is something of an industry for some. Here, several homeless people sell a newspaper. They both benefit from the sales, and take part in production to some extent. This seems better--to make an exchange. The paper is a dollar, but you give five, and either way, the person selling earns it all. And the person buying the newspaper gets some good information about the city's homeless community and their needs and problems. Anyone can go downtown with a cup or make a sign.
I used to regularly buy the "Streetwise" newspaper until I actually read one.  It was full of all those fuzzy smug feelings that augustine shares with us.

The one here isn't bad. The last one I read had a good article on a support group for homeless people that had nothing to do with the government or people with homes feeling anything whatsoever.
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« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2013, 08:49:49 PM »

In Pittsburgh they actually put up billboards and signs asking that people not give money to panhandlers but instead donate to the missions and soup kitchens in the city. This is probably the wisest course of action, your helping the poor and not enabling an addiction.

Yes indeed.
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« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2013, 08:51:31 PM »

Are Orthodox Christians religiously required to give money to panhandlers with absurd, made-up stories?
you are t required to give money to anybody. You see when a state agency is taking them from you in order to fund some social program is doing a double good: the funding of that program but also robs you of that smug fuzzy feeling that charity engenders in every pious soul.

Meh. I give money to someone who asks, he or she might "misuse" it somehow (I don't consider buying alcohol to be a serious misuse. Proverbs has something to say about giving the poor wine so they may forget their troubles. I don't always carry a bottle of wine on me) or not really need it, but whatever. I give money to the state agency, it WILL misuse it. Render to Ceasar, but if you want the poor to be fed you have to do it yourself.
Shhh!  You are not supposed to let it out that Caesar has no clothes.

Then there are those cases when Caesar stops you from feeding the poor. (Actually, the real Caesars never did that, but their American and Soviet wannabes do.)
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« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2013, 08:59:44 PM »

Or one could put them to work. As St. Paul says, "If one will not work, let him not eat."
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« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2013, 09:18:55 PM »

First World Problem:  I can't figure out which of the many ways I can help the poor is best.  So I'll just keep my money, look disapprovingly at them and assume they are doing drugs.
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« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2013, 09:34:13 PM »

In Pittsburgh they actually put up billboards and signs asking that people not give money to panhandlers but instead donate to the missions and soup kitchens in the city. This is probably the wisest course of action, your helping the poor and not enabling an addiction.

Deacon, there are many problems with that, that make it pretty far from the wisest course of action.  For one thing, the homeless who tend to need the most help are the same ones who tend to get themselves banned from pretty much every organization that helps the homeless.  And many organizations that help the homeless are quick to ban people from their premises because it improves their statistics, which helps them get grant money, and retain their current grants. 

In fact, I can think of one young woman who is homeless and was banned from all the properties of one organization that has housing (both temporary and permanent) and job placement services, in addition of course to providing food, because while she was staying there she tried to commit suicide.  Now, because they see her as a risk to themselves, she is forever barred from stepping foot on their property.

I also know a young man who was banned for half-a-year from another organization serving homeless youth because he was attacked by another of the youths there, and their policy is that if you are involved in a fight (even if that means you are being brutalized) on their premises, you are banned for 6 months. 

While the idea of donating to organizations that can help people is nice, the people who need the most help are the same people that almost all of the organizations won't deal with.
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« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2013, 11:03:52 PM »

Help does not necessarily translate to giving money. Time is more valuable than money. If you have qualms about giving cash to people of dubious need, go volunteer for a charity that aids those who really are in need.

Spot on!

There are so many ways to help.

One just needs to have the desire to help others.
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« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2013, 11:11:20 PM »

First World Problem:  I can't figure out which of the many ways I can help the poor is best.  So I'll just keep my money, look disapprovingly at them and assume they are doing drugs.

Yep. Most people with such an attitude have never been homeless, addicted, or truly hungry. I imagine that standing outside in the elements day after day, enduring curses and insults as one begs for food or money is probably very hard work.

To quote St. Paul in an effort to exculpate our responsibility to help our neighbor seems blasphemous to me. I find it sad that some professing Christians would probably let someone starve to death as they condemned them for not working. They'd probably condemn Jesus too, since He never had a 9 to 5 job.


Selam
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« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2013, 12:15:56 AM »

I haven't met panhandlers who were lying, but if they asked for a few dollars and I had it, I would give them the money. But if I suspect something, I just say that I don't have money on me.
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« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2013, 06:11:57 AM »

I used to buy them cigarets or give 'em some beer as I was always carrying some around. once a guy, in uptown, started telling me this bs story that his mom died and he needs money for the train to go to the funeral. i told him, cut the crap, do u want cigarets? he said yes, i bought him a pack and he was happy.  anyways is little on the long run. plus it provides that despicable fuzzy feeling. phew...
it's the nicotine.

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« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2013, 06:11:57 AM »

Or one could put them to work. As St. Paul says, "If one will not work, let him not eat."
Yet that quote needs to be placed in the context of its time. I'm sure St Paul would be horrified by the afflictions poor people face due to global capitalism.
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« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2013, 04:57:29 PM »

I don't hand out money because it's been years since I had any to spare. I support a local charity that maintains shelters; they take £3 a month off my mobile phone credit, assuming I have it. When the local food bank comes to the supermarket, I scrimp and save to get something off their list to give them. But I'm not going to jeopardise my family's survival by giving away money I can't spare. Charity begins at home.
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