What Should You Do When A Homeless Person Asks You For Money?
I had to someone ask me this question the other day…
What should you do when a homeless person asks you for money?
Now, this is one of those tricky questions.
I remember Tim Ferris with talking about a homeless guy who took him around this streets of San Francisco. And the homeless guy said, “Never give money to the homeless because 100% of the time they’re going to use it for drugs.” So you don’t want to take your money and fuel someone else’s drug addiction.
Now, the flip side of that is Jesus said, “When someone asks, you should give to them.”
So when the person asked me this the other day, we had a really good conversation.
This is what I think to do.
First of all, if you don’t have extra money, and they say “hey man you got a spare or extra dollar you can give me?”
If You don’t have a spare or extra dollar say “No man, I don’t have any extra dollars for you.”
What I do often, if I have a couple of extra dollars or I have a quarter or whatever that I do not mind parting with.
I’ll say, “hey man I’ll give you a dollar if you let me pray for you.”
Right? Simple enough and it gives you an opportunity to minister to a person.
The lady I was talking with asked “what if you’re in a hurry or you’re driving by?”
I said, well it’s interesting,Jesus shared a parable about a rich man and Lazarus; I think it’s interesting that you don’t know the rich man’s name but you know the poor man’s name.
So, I’ve seen people get their lives radically changed because I’ve remembered their name.
So lets say there’s one guy who’s always on the same street corner begging for money.
Let’s say that I’m in a hurry and i’m driving…
I gonna roll down my window, hand them a quarter or dollar or whatever, and say “Hey man, what’s your name?” He tells me his name, and if the light hasn’t turned green yet, I’d say “what can I be praying for you?”
So lets say his name is Larry or whatever.
So, for the next week, I’m gonna pray for Larry everyday for whatever he mentioned.
The next time I drive by and I see him, I’m gonna rolled down my window and go “Hey Larry. Man, last time I saw you, you said you needed help with this… how are things going?”
And over the weeks I’m gonna start building a relationship with this dude in such a way where my end goal is to go and sit down and have a meal with the guy and talk story with him.
That’s what I like to do.
Jesus said if you want to impact people you gotta eat with them right?
So eventually I’m gonna say to the guy “You wanna go eat? Jump in the car and let’s go and get something to eat?”
And I’m going to eat with the guy.
Now, do I do this a hundred percent in time, no.
But more often than not, I’m gonna sit there, I’m gonna meet the guy and if he let me pray for him, I’m gonna pray for him.
You know… had a number of stories. I remember one time walking down the alley in front of my house, dude begging for money. Say “man here’s a buck.” You know? Let me pray for you.”
Another time that guy was dry shaving the hair on his head because he just got out of jail and wanted to have a haircut.
And i’m like…let me go get you a razor and I helped the guy out.
You know what happened, a year later, I see the guy at Wal Mart, and I asked him “how are you doing?”
He’s like “oh man, I got my life right. I got married.” His wife was there. It was amazing!
So sometimes little things like stopping in the alley way, spending some time saying you’re important to Jesus and you’re important to me and I want to help you.
Sometimes the biblical way you help the poor is by giving them work.
We’ve had it where I’ve said “I don’t have an extra dollars but I do have some work if you would like to come and work.”
And we let them do a little things around our place and pay them money to do that.
So there’s options for you.
Now, the important thing to remember is…
These Are People!
Imagine this person was your mom, your dad or your grandma or whatever…
You can’t look down on them. Honor them as people.
And then look for ways that you can help these people out.
Not all people really want to be helped but some of them will.
And if they do want help, go and help them.
It’s not complicated.
So that’s what I do when it comes to people asking for money.
I’m looking for ways to bless them, pray for them, see God work in their lives. I’m looking to spend time with these guys and eat with them.
That’s the good stuff.
Okay…what do you think?
Let me know down below.