Do you give people money when they ask for it?
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Sduibek

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I had an experience yesterday in which I was taking out the trash & recycling, and a gentleman approached me looking distraught/deperate and said he's looking to get a couple bucks for gas for his car.

Usually I will grab a few dollars or change and give it over; after all it's only a bit of money and i've been in those situations myself a few times. Actually just recently I didn't have enough for bus fare and the guy i'd been chatting with @ the bus-stop paid for me.

Anyway, since I pay most things with Credit these days, all I had on me was a 20. I gave it to him and he was very grateful of course
I don't usually do that (see #2 below)but was feeling generous for some reason.

So:
1)If someone asks for a few dollars for bus fare, gas or whatever, do you give it to them?
2)If you only had a larger bill like a 10 or 20, would you give them that or say that you only have the bigger bill and can't help them? (or say you have no money on you at all)

I am very curious since i've done #2 many times and want to see what the status quo is on this sort of thing!

Cheers
 
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krmathis

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Yes, I certainly help a fellow out if I have cash. But living fully of debit/credit cards I rarely do.
With exceptions to those who clearly beg for a living (drug addicts, gipsies, ...), which do not get a dime from me.
 
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grape ape

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I never do. There are so few people who are actually homeless and desperate that don't have mental illness compounded by addiction that I don't see the need to ever do it. I would help pass a bill that created better, free addiction recovery programs and realistic treatment for their mental health issues even if it raised my taxes.
 
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krazyxazn

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Nope, most of these guys just spend it on beer or cigs. I only carry $5-10 in cash and just use my credit card or debit card. If they want a fresh water bottle or food. I'll give that but cash no.
 
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Mr. B

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I mostly use plastic and very seldom have I ever handed out more than a dollar (you hear a good story now and then) but I usually leave the house with a few quarters in my pocket which I will easily part with when asked.
 
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No, I use plastic for almost everything. Despite the perception, I've found that using a charge card (as opposed to credit; you have to pay off a charge card every month) or debit card is a great way to stay on budget. You get a summary of how you spend money every month, too, which helps with budgeting.

Anyhow, I usually don't have cash to give. However, I have bought food and water for people.

Interestingly, the vast majority don't seem to be interested in food even though they supposedly want money to "buy food."
 
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When I was in grad school in downtown Detroit, I was hit up by these guys sometimes several times a day. I learned my lesson one day when I gave a guy looking for bus fare some money, and heard him not 45 minutes later on a pay phone trying to score drugs. Over the next two years, I heard that guy trying to catch the same bus over and over and over again.

I've also made repeated offers to buy a sandwich from the campus commons for these guys. Funny...they NEVER ONCE took me up on it. Most cursed at me, and one even flashed a boxcutter at me. I guess they didn't like the food any better than I did. I'm also thinking that's why the popular choice for the clever panhandler became "I need a bus ticket".

In my experience, almost all of these folks are either going to use the money for drugs, booze, or are running a small business. Yes, that's right...our local news channel did a segment on some of these folks who went home to their homes after they finished "working" for the day. I recognized one of them from campus.

It's too bad, because there may well be folks who are desperate for help that have to compete with these other folks. Because I can't distinguish one from the other, nobody gets my money.
 
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grape ape

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The food thing is always BS since in any, even medium sized town, will have multiple ways to get free food-be it soup kitchen, churches and some student run food programs. Towns that don't have food programs for the homeless coincidentally don't have homeless people.
 
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roadtonowhere08

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As a rule of thumb, I never give money. Who knows how it will be really used? If it is a homeless person and not workforce capable, and I have the chance, I will buy them something to eat or give them the food I just bought.

One thing I cannot stand though is people on the road who are obviously lucid and able-bodied begging for money. I never give them anything. Go get a job!
 
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apatN

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Voted yes. In case I can really help I will give some cash. However, I won't give a penny to any bum, drug addict or whatever. Also, I rarely have cash on me...
 
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Khanate

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Certainly not, there are shelters and food services for the homeless. I don't mind paying more taxes for a social re-insertion program that would help them get jobs, but I'm not going to give them money when they already have shelter and food and are not willing to get a job to buy their cigarettes or drugs.
 
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Robot

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I don't know how it's in the USA, but in eastern Europe one is lucky if someone actually asks for money and doesn't take all you have, by force.
 
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