In the past I have been, like most people, indifferent to them. We look the other way like they don’t exist. It always bothered me to do that though.
During the 10 months I took off from work I was not homeless or even wanting for money but as I searched for a new job I felt a connection to the plight of the homeless and uneducated people out there. Even with education and skills, the competition for a good job is still incredible. When you are homeless, it can be virtually impossible to pull yourself out of the gutter.
It also bothers me to give to those who are intentionally making panhandling their full-time job. A person can make quite a bit of money playing on the sympathy of the common motorist. It’s still far from the American Dream.
Many are disabled or even veterans unable to make it in the real world. Some just elderly and without family for support.
I’ve decided that no matter what their issue, I think it wouldn’t hurt me to help them out. I keep a stash of $5 bills in easy reach so I can make their lives a little better. Whether they are seriously down and out or just eeking out a living they are very appreciative and I feel good about making their day easier.
I wish there was a better way for them and in many cities there is but at least I can do more than just feel bad for them or even be annoyed about what they are doing. You only live once and when that life sucks to the max, it’s nice to have someone care enough to help you out a little.