For many people, it can be easy to ignore homeless people who are begging for money in public settings. Many people assume that they’re lazy or will spend the money on drugs once it gets into their hands. Here are a few reasons why you should consider being generous and giving your money to those who are in need on the streets.
You Also Spend Your Money on Alcohol
Although the homeless person that you pass on your way to work each day may spend your money on alcohol, you may also get drunk on the weekends or enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a long day. They still need food even if they choose to smoke cigarettes or consume alcohol. Giving them money can allow them to spend an extra day surviving and avoid going to bed hungry.
You Don’t Know Their Situation
Many times, homeless individuals were once hard-working, middle-class individuals who had a stable job until the unexpected occurred. Many homeless people became disabled due to an accident or became bankrupt due to medical bills. Having a bit of compassion won’t hurt them and can be what they need to get through another day. Avoid judging their situation until you get to know their background or story.
Homeless people may make bad decisions that affect their current situation, but no one should spend the night in dangerous weather conditions or the middle of the storm outside. Providing them with money can allow them to get shelter for the night or purchase a blanket to stay warm and comfortable during certain times of the year. Your comfort can only positively affect them and can be the motivation they need to continue surviving.
They’re Often Humiliated
Avoid assuming that the homeless person that asks you for money wants to live off of other people or isn’t looking for a job. Many people are humiliated to be living on the streets and have to humble themselves to beg to continue to eat each day. Understand that accidents or tragedies may have led them to where they’re at today, and give them money to ensure that they obtain what they need as they deal with their challenging situation.
Herrick Lipton is the CEO of New Horizon Counseling Center in New York and is also an advocate for mental health. For more information about Herrick or to get in touch with New Horizon Counseling Center for resources, please visit nhcc.us or call 718-845-2620.