Anyway, this week's assignment was to explore www.flickr.com, which I could totally get lost on for hours. After searching all sorts of things, I have decided to post about this image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stoneth/133891593/
It's a picture of a homeless man named Walter. You should really look at it, and read the accompanying description. I chose this picture because I am really drawn to homeless people. I am actually planning on starting to volunteer with a homeless ministry through church. But, my post will be about my moral dilemma when it comes to the homeless:
Do you give them money or not?
I generally operate under the philosophy that it is on their conscience what they use the money for and it's on mine to be a compassionate person. If they don't really need the money or are lying, that's on them. But if I drive or walk on by, it's on my conscience. And, frankly, if I were homeless I might occasionally want to buy a beer, I'm not going to lie.
But, recently a colleague mentioned that she does not give money to homeless people because she believes that they should seek out the organizations that can really help them-not only with their immediate needs, but with long-term help to bring them out of homelessness. Her point is that if they are not successful panhandling, they will be forced to get help from an organization (which is where she directs her funds).
So, what are your thoughts? Give freely and leave it up to them, or walk past the person and donate to the organization?