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Imagine that you are walking down Queen Street in Toronto and a homeless person asks...

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heminif | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted March 4, 2010 at 2:02 PM via web

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Imagine that you are walking down Queen Street in Toronto and a homeless person asks you for money...

describe your reaction. Explain what your answer reveals about your values, beliefs, and experiences.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 4, 2010 at 2:08 PM (Answer #2)

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I very rarely give money to homeless people or other people asking for money.  I suppose that says bad things about my character, but here is why I do not:

  • I do not feel like the money I give will do anything to actually improve the life of the homeless person.  i suppose that is partly because I suspect the money will be spent on alcohol or drugs.  But it is partly because petty change like that will not do anything to actually help a person.
  • I think that handouts are probably actually bad because they just allow the people to stay out there in a life that is clearly not good for them.  There needs to be a better way of actually getting help for them -- help that will change their lives.
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booksnmore | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 4, 2010 at 2:53 PM (Answer #3)

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I used to give money to homeless people but learned (though local media) that local homeless are often making better than minimum wage (hence no reason to get a job) and are using money for addictions. Local media has strongly advised against giving money, so I quit. However, I have done things differently upon encountering homeless families. I still wouldn't give money, but I have driven to a store and bought a bag of groceries to give them. I suppose it means that my values/beliefs include the idea that children cannot control what adults around them are doing.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 4, 2010 at 8:16 PM (Answer #4)

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I almost never give money to the homeless directly, but I do give directly to shelters and food banks, so I know where the money goes.  I have also just bought food for someone with a sign on the side of the road, so I know it doesn't enable any addicitions they might have.  Then I support candidates and causes that aim to reduce homelessness over the long term.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 4, 2010 at 8:51 PM (Answer #5)

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I rarely give money to the homeless, but it often depends upon the mood, the time and the person. I polite request has a much better chance of receiving my charity than a persistent, antagonistic one.

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nusratfarah | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 5, 2010 at 10:22 PM (Answer #6)

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To me, asking for money like this on streets is like begging. And, I despise begging. But, if I find out that the person is really helpless, disable for other sort of job, and has good purpose, I'll give him money as aid.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted March 6, 2010 at 7:39 AM (Answer #7)

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I never give money to people that come up on the street and ask for it. I don't think that they would spend it on useful or productive things. It is better to give money to others that can't walk or can't speak or be able to ask for money. they are far more worthy of receiving a donation.

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akh6777 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 8, 2010 at 1:09 PM (Answer #8)

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I rarely give money to homeless people.  I would be more inclined to tell him the address of the nearest shelter.  I do not think it is a negative charachteristic.  I am inclined to help organizations instead of the individual.  This is because organizations know the best way of distributing the money and using it to better the indidivual.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted May 31, 2010 at 9:55 AM (Answer #9)

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I never give money to homeless people for several reasons. I also do not think that I am a bad person for this. First of all, I have worked for my money and I feel that they will not use the money in a proper way, such as purchasing food. I would be more inclined to tell the person where the nearest food bank or shelter is. I agree with the previous post in regards to donating money to organizations that assist homeless people. I think that this is the best possible way to help them.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM (Answer #10)

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I have never been to Toronto, but I don't give the homeless money. I always say politely, "Sorry, I don't carry cash." There's no response to that other than to move on. I don't give money because what I tell them is true, first of all. I really never do have cash or even usually coins. I also do not feel comfortable with strangers coming up to me, and certanly not enough to take out my wallet!

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