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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  • I think helping the homeless out is very kind and is a good idea. You may not know what they are going to spend it on but giving them THINGS over money could possibly not help them. If I were homeless I think I'd like to recieve anything food or money, anything to help.

  • I think we should give money to the homeless, we don't know what they will spend it on but at the end of the day it could really help someone by a lot. Its respectful and very nice to give a homeless person money and it could lead to many good things if you donate to them. I would rather recieve money so I could spend it on other things that I need not just food.

  • I think that giving money to the homeless is always a great idea. Yes, I understand that you don't know what they are going to spend it on, but it's the thought that counts. As a religious person, maybe even pray with them or for them. That could always help.

    • I agree with you. Always ask if they want or need help first and make sure they are comfortable with you praying for them. In general it is the most humane and kindest thing to treat each person you encounter with equal kindness and respect. 

  • I would not give money to the homeless because there are some "Homeless people" that are not really homeless and just try to get money from people. But if I was homeless and didn;t have anything I would want food over money if I was on the streets.

  • I think that giving money to the homeless is a good think to do. If I was able too I would give them food and water to help them. I dont think that you are a bad person though if you decide not to give because that is your personal money and you can choose what you want to do with it. 

  • I personally would give a homeless person money because it is the right thing to do. I think it is more ethical to give money to the homeless because if people didn't give them money they would have no way to get off the streets. I would prefer to recieve money over food so I could buy other things with it.

  • Typically, no. I do this because that always risks your money going to drugs or alcohol. It may be ethical, but I don't do it. If I was homeless, I would probably want money more than anything. That's why people are homeless in the first place. Typically, I do not but sometimes I may. 

  • I think that it's very nice of people that give money to the homeless. I don't think it makes you any less of a person if you are not willing to lend the homeless money. I would say that giving food, water, and necessities is probably a better option for people to give to the homeless. If you give them money it's a more likely chance they will use your money to purchase drugs, alcohol, and things that are not useful. 

    • I agree with you that you aren't lesser if you offer something different than money or nothing at all. It is more effective and kind to ask before giving things that aren't money though because they could be useless to the person. But I do think you should always offer what you can if you can. 

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