Should You Give Money to the Homeless?

When presented with the opportunity to help out someone who is homeless, what is your go-to option? Do you take out your wallet and offer what you can, or do you opt to get this person in need food? Both possibilities could potentially save lives and are good choices to be made. With one option you are financially boosting a person significantly in need, and with the other, you are feeding someone who maybe hasn't had food in days.

Many people have strong opinions on how they think the homeless should be helped. A big argument is that helping a homeless person in need by donating money to them is not a good idea because the person receiving the money could be spending it on drugs. This idea perpetuates the notion that all homeless people are heavily addicted to drugs and it is dehumanizing and harmful to those who are in genuine need of help. Many people who are homeless prefer to receive cash or monetary donations instead of edible donations because food can be hard to store and can be bought with said monetary donations. Money in general is preferable because it can be used for many things like toiletries and other necessities along with food. 

In general, when you decide to donate or help someone, it should be selfless. When you take the time to help you should not be passing judgment on those you are helping. Not every homeless person is addicted to drugs and giving homeless people food instead of money could be harming more than helping in some situations. You should always ask before donating, and if you would rather just donate food, maybe you should donate canned goods and nonperishables to your local food bank or church where homeless people can receive it when they are in need of it. 

Would you give money to the homeless?

Do you think it is more ethical to give money to the homeless?

If you were homeless would you prefer to receive money or food?


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  • Great topic choice and good summary as well!! Be sure to reply back to more student comments next time.

  • I think it's better to give money to a homeless person than food. It's a donation, and who am I to put conditions on my donation. Not all homeless people are drug addicts, and it's not my business if they do use the money for drugs regardless. You cannot buy diapers, toiletries, or clothes with food. Nor can you save up food. Food will spoil eventually while someone can start a small savings with donated money.

  • I don't know if I would give money to the homeless, maybe if I had some extra cash on hand but I don't think I'd go out of my way to give them money. We don't know what they will spend it on, and I don't want to waste my money by giving it to a homeless person that is just going to buy drugs or something bad.

  • Personally, I would not give money directly to the homeless that are on the side of the road, but I would give money to homeless shelters instead for things such as purchasing food and other necessities for them. If I am donating money to the homeless, I want to know exactly where the money is going.

  • I would not give money to the homeless, I think that if they are homeless they aren't working hard enough. I think it is nice to give money to the homeless, but they can just spend it on anything. If I were homeless I would want food that way I can focus my money on a house and not food and a house.

  • I think that I would give money to homeless people because I am very priviledged and have more money than I need. I think it is important to help other people who are in need if you have the chance to do so. If I were homeless I think that I would prefer to receive money over food because I could buy the things I really need. 

  • If I had the extra money and someone who was homeless asked me for money, I might give it to them because they need it more, and I'm not responsible for how they choose to spend the money. If I was homeless, I would probably want money instead of food.

  • I would rather get food than money because with what little money I have left, I wouldn't have to spend it on food. I haven't really been around any homeless people to give anything to, but if Someone were to ask me for money, I would give them a little bit.

  • I think giving money to homeless is nice and I would probably do it. If I gave them money I would want them to spend it on food, clothes, or shelter. If I was homeless I would want people to give me money instead of food so that then you can use the money on things you might need more. 

  • I wouldn't personally give money to a homeless person, but rather food or gift cards to clothing and/or grocery stores. I don't think it's wrong to give money to someone in need, but there's always the risk of not knowing what they're going to spend it on; they could be spending it on food or medication, or they could be using it to buy alcohol. 

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