Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Should You Give Money To The Homeless?

It’s cold. It’s icy. It’s winter. Thousands of homeless people are sleeping rough in freezing temperatures. Should you give them money for shelter?

A tough question.

Although easier to answer if you live in the Netherlands. If you’re a homeless Dutch citizen, the government will give you about €800 in benefits a month and do its best to find you an accomodation.

Illegal aliens aren’t as fortunate. They have little choice but to take to the streets and beg.

Should you give these people a hand out?

If they need it, yes. And you can’t know without asking and starting a conversation. Which is most important of all, because drifters rarely get treated as human beings.

Most homeless are seen as drunk dopes who made a slew of bad choices. But sometimes one bad choice, relationship, or epidemic is all you need to end up on the street. 

And when a slab of concrete is your pillow, the odds of getting your life in order is slim. No home, no job. No job, no home. It’s a cruel cycle.

Although a few dimes and nickels are nice, most homeless people don’t need a hand out, they need a hand up. 

The next time a beggar comes up to you, don’t throw them a buck and walk on. If that buck ends up supporting a destructive habit, you’re not helping anyone but yourself and your nagging sense of guilt.

Instead, look them in the eye and say hi. Have you got a moment to spare? Stop and ask how they’re doing. Figure out what they need.

Maybe it is a dollar. Maybe it’s a banana, a pair of shoes, cash to repay a loan, a job, training, cheap housing, or medical care. 

Everyone deserves a good life. If you can help someone get there, great. If not, no worries. You at least looked them in the eye and reminded them they’re not invisible.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach