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There’s a New Study About Why You Shouldn’t Give Money To Panhandlers

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Here’s a new excuse the next time a homeless guy asks you for change. Don’t go through that ridiculous act where you pat your pockets and say, “Uh, sorry, I don’t have any.” Just say, “A study told me not to.” According to a report in “The Atlantic”, the Department of Housing and Urban Development says that if you REALLY want to help the homeless, you should give money to charitable organizations that help them, NOT to the people themselves. First off, the old line that “he’s probably just going to use the money to buy alcohol or drugs” is kinda true . . . more than three out of five homeless people in the study were addicted to one or both. But beyond that, the problem is that homeless people don’t have a way to SAVE money. A full-time panhandler will generally make between $600 and $1,500 every month. And because they don’t have a bank account . . . or even a safe place to store the money . . . they usually try to spend it as quickly as they get it. While that gives them short-term help, like a meal, it doesn’t help any long-term goal like, you know, not being homeless anymore. The study found that giving money to organizations that work to get the homeless off the street and into jobs are much, much better long-term ways to help the homeless than tossing some change or a dollar into a cup.

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