Last Updated:

Should I Give Money to Homeless People?

With many people sleeping in the streets hungry, you could be wondering, should I give the homeless money or food? We will help you answer this question. A charitable organization that is helping homeless people with accommodation has told people to stop giving money and food to homeless people. This has generated a debate on whether or not is a good thing to give homeless money or food. 

We are going to answer questions like; is it illegal to give homeless money and should you give homeless money?  

Is it Illegal to Give Money to Homeless?

No. It is is not illegal to give money to homeless people. Many countries do not limit well-wishers from helping the homeless with money. Besides, it is an act of kindness and homeless people also need to live a dignified life.

The debate on whether or not to give the homeless money or food emanated from a charitable organization in Manchester that discouraged people from helping the homeless. The charity has been helping homeless people with accommodation.

The main concern of this charity is that giving money and food to homeless people will keep them on pavements borrowing. Besides, homeless people can also use the money to buy drinks and drugs. Although their concern has some validity, it is not illegal to give money or food to the homeless.

Also read: What to give to homeless people?

Should You Give a Homeless Person Money?

The short answer is yes, the long answer is no. Yes because he may need money to buy basic needs like clothes, undergarments, and toiletries. Besides, there are many other good ways he can put the money into. 

And no on the other hand because he can use the money to buy harmful drinks like alcohol and drugs. I believe is not your intention that the money you give a homeless person be put into such use. Instead of giving them money, you can look for other options like buying them the things they need. Nevertheless, there are dos and don’ts when helping the homeless.

Should You Give Food to Homeless People?

Since homeless people rely on well-wishers to feed them, there is no harm in giving them food. Food is a basic need and it is something homeless people cannot go without. Lack of food can make their health to deteriorate and as such, it is good to give a homeless person food. 

Things to Do When Helping Homeless People

  • Get to know them. Ask them their names and try to remember them. Also, be kind and friendly to them.
  • Get to know what they need most. It is important to understand what is that they need most that you can give them.
  • Check about the legality of helping the homeless. You need to check with the town or city you reside in if or not it's legal to help homeless people.
  • Give them clothes. When giving them clothes, avoid giving them new or expensive clothes to avoid instances of them of selling them.

Things Not to Do When Helping the Homeless

You need to avoid the following things when helping homeless people:

  • Avoid giving them money. Buy them the specific things they need instead of giving them money.
  • Do not tell them your address. To avoid homeless people coming to your home, avoid giving them your address.
  • Do not open your wallet or purse in front of them. Avoid showing homeless people your wallet balance since you don’t know their motives.
  • Avoid giving them junk food. Homeless people cannot afford medical expenses and giving them junky food exposes them to health issues.
  • Do not give them expensive stuff. When you give homeless people expensive stuff like clothing, they can sell them and raise money to buy drugs.
  • Do not visit homeless people alone. Make sure to visit them in a group and during broad daylight and not at night.

Is Giving Money to Homeless People Helpful?

In some instances, it would be helpful to give money to the homeless. They might need the money for basic needs like food, clothing, and toiletries. However, since you aren’t sure how the homeless people will use the money, it is best you buy them the items they need instead of giving them money.

Also, you can opt to give money to organizations dealing with homeless people instead of giving them directly. This way, the money can be put to better use.

Also read: How much would it cost to end homelessness?

Summary: Is Giving Money and Food to the Homeless a Good Thing?

Should you give money to homeless people? Giving money or food to the homeless is beneficial and it is legal. However, you need to be careful before giving out money to the homeless. They can use the money for illegal activities like buying drinks and drugs. Instead of giving money directly to homeless people, you can consider giving it to organizations dealing with homeless people.

Read More