Escalating cases of homelessness in the United States is viewed as the thorn in the countrys economic and social growth. There has been an increasing number of homeless people in U.S. with most of them residing near the shopping malls, restaurants, and some abandoned buildings. The increasing number of the homeless people has been linked to the unemployment which has made them resort into begging as their source of livelihood. Well-wishers have embarked on donating money and other materials as a way of showing compassion to the homeless. When viewed in a different perspective, donating money to the homeless is not helping when it comes to solving this problem in the American society. It follows that the money that one donates to a panhandler impacts on them negatively: apparently, they will think that the best way of getting money is through begging. In most cases, this money is mainly used to purchase illegal drugs as well as being used in carrying out various crimes. The money is also not useful when as far as helping the mentally disabled persons in the society.
Donating money to beggars is never a long lasting solution. Studies indicate that those homeless people who have opted for begging as their sole source of money rarely take a forward as far as their economic or social life is concerned. It is understood that through begging, a homeless person is in the position of raising enough money, not only to cater for their basic needs but also to transform their lives into useful members of the society. With such money, when utilized well it can turn them into product members of the society instead of depending on begging as their way of meeting their basic needs. However, it is observed that such individuals are so addicted to begging that they cannot embrace any other form of getting money. Rather than donating money to homeless, it is, therefore, imperative for the people to donate the money to the social service agency (Anna 1). The money donated to this agency will be used in finding long lasting solutions such as the provision of shelter and other needs for the homeless, as a way of eradicating panhandling in the community.
Beggars may look or be perceived to be homeless, which is not always the case. In most cases, those who pose as beggars lead a normal life but have simply opted for begging because it seems to be an easy way of getting money. Research conducted in various cities in the United States indicate that beggars can earn as much as $50,000 per year (Hamilton A3). In one incidence, there was a woman, who by the day was working as panhandler but housewife by night. When further enquiries were made, it was revealed that she was leading a normal life of a working citizen even if her neighbors did not know the kind of the job she was doing. From the research, there was also a scenario where one panhandler with a husband, having a kid as well as the house was posing as homeless, begging for money. Further enquiries revealed that tax assessment of their house was $316,000. It can be contended that this family leads a comfortable life, which is against the expectations of many, regarding a homeless person, depending on begging.
Money given to beggars end up being channeled to inappropriate usage such as drugs, alcohol or other tobacco products, which worsens their situation. Some of the beggars are choosy are so choosy that when given something they do not like, they end up being violent to the donators. For instance, there was an incidence where a beggar embarked on stabbing a student, who had opted to buy him the food instead of giving him money. This incidence left the student blinded (Osborne 33). With such cases, it follows that most beggars are criminals and they can resort to the use of violence once their demands are not met. It is, therefore, paramount that donators should opt against giving beggars money and instead channel them to the rightful organizations or agencies that can help in finding an amicable solution to this vice in the society.
People willing to make their donations should be directed on how they should do them through the rightful channels. In most areas, begging is perceived as soliciting money from innocent people which should be condemned in the society (James 2). Donating money to a person posing as a beggar can be viewed as counterproductive or even a way of giving cash to an individual who is not a homeless in the first place. People who feel compassion and they think they can help solve the problem of the homeless are encouraged to do their donations to the various organizations that are dedicated to providing food, shelter and other basic needs to the underprivileged people in the society. This will help in doing away with a donation of the money to the beggars which are considered to be unworthy.
Donating money to the homeless is not bad; however, its impacts are detrimental, calling for best alternatives when it comes to donating money to the beggars. This implies that instead of giving money to the beggars, which can be perceived as soliciting, it is imperative for the people to redirect their donations to the rightful organizations that can in return help in dealing with the provision of shelter, food and clothing to the homeless and needy people in the society.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Anna, Marum. "Spare change funds Portland panhandlers' addictions, business leaders say." Oregonian (2016): 1-2. print.
Bird, John. "Giving money to beggars isn't kindness, Ed, it's cruelty." Daily Mai (2014): 14. print.
HAMILTON. "PANHANDLER BY DAY, HOUSEWIFE BY NIGHT." Kitchener/Cambridge (2005): A3. print.
James, Mayse. "Homeless shelter directors espouse giving money to shelters instead of panhandlers." Messenger-Inquirer (2015): 2. print.
Osborne, Lucy. "Beggar blinds student who offered him a meal instead of giving cash." Daily Mai (2014): 33.
If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SuperbGrade website, please click below to request its removal: