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07-27-2015 09:42 AM
Many many times, I commuted to NYC from NJ for 28 years and I became friendly with many and learned a lot about their lives. We had a large base of volunteers at my Company and being a large Fortune 100, we had assets and people to help them in many ways. some of us even had our "regulars" at our retirement parties. I passed St Francis of Assisi daily and gave weekly donations so they could keep the bread line going every day. A lot is said against NYC and there are many homeless but, I found New Yorkers and those of us who passed through daily to be very generous and kind to the homeless....and New Yorkers always come together in times of need and crisis...
07-27-2015 11:05 AM
When I lived in the city I handed homeless people money and or got them food. I don't see homeless people here where i live now. However my husband and I give to shelters and the food banks (among other charities) regularly.
07-27-2015 11:11 AM
Yes. Here they ask for money. Some just sit around some grungy area. I will help those that appear like homeless vets from the Vietnam era. Certain things give them away.
07-27-2015 11:28 AM
Yes. We were in Nashville and there was a young man, in his twenties, in shorts, one leg, in the lower 30's, standing at the end of a ramp off the interstate, begging. My husband is a Vet.. it broke my heart- we stopped and I slipped money into his hand... he got tears in his eyes, as he grasped my hand and said, "Thank You." What he did with that money is none of my business but he seemed very grateful.
We give to food banks and have, on occasion, given to people that were asking for help..
07-27-2015 12:00 PM
OP, that was a wonderful thing you did for him. The end of his life came knowing that someone did care about him and showed him some love.
This may sound cold, but in the area I live, we don't really have the homeless sitting on the streets and begging. Small town. But what we do have is people who sometimes stand with a sign, looking for food, or money or what ever. The sign may say homeless, or hungry, unemployed or something else.
Back when I was in retail management, I would hand them an application. I had the ability to give men, even those with no money to clean up or dress for work a chance at being full time employed, with health benefits and paid vacation. The positions were entry level, no real skills or education needed. Duties included unloading trucks, sweeping and mopping, and material handling. Full time, and at least minimum wage. We could provide some clothing until they got a first check, and we were located on the city's bus line. And all that information was provided with the application.
I never did get back any of those applications. So I'm very cautious about being sure that someone wants to help themselves as well.
07-27-2015 12:15 PM
I have. Heartbreaking! There was a man around his middle 50's I think. He use to stand in front of this grocery store I always went into. He never ask for money and never aggressive. One day I seen him I wanted to do something for him. I waited at the store until a man walked out and I ask him if he would go over with me I wanted to give him money. He did. The man with a kind face said thank you I will buy something to eat. I use to stop and give him food. In the months to come it was getting colder so I got him some warm socks,gloves,hat and fleece tops to keep him warm. Put some candy in the bag with some money. He smiled at me and said I will never forget you. Christmas came could not find him I had blankets and a gift for him. For months I rode around looking for him. I ask someone in the store if anyone seen him they said He passed away. I was so sad and upset. You see he was a human being. Someone's son,brother even father. Someone at some time loved him. He had a life. I never knew his name but he was a gentleman and taught me a lesson in life don't judge the homeless it could be you someday down on your luck! Someone said to me don't give him money he will drink it up. Another called him a drunk. They didn't know they just judged him. He was just down on his luck . Kind man.
You have a Beautiful heart!
07-27-2015 12:26 PM
Growing up there was a lady that collected bottles to turn in for money. People saw her daily walking the farm streets and sleeping in the green fields at night. One morning left an inprint on my mind the rest of my life. I was walking to school and I saw her waking up from out of the green field. She stood up slow. She fluffed her hair with her fingers, fixed her clothes just right, and neat as she could. She turn around and faced the mountains where the sun was rising. She stood there and raised her hands to the sky and the rising sun. She held her hands up a long time. I continued walking, and kept watching her. I thought that she looked lovely standing in the field with the rising sun in the morning. Standing in rags from the dirty grain sacks that she used to make her clothes. My mind placed her into the areas of a Morning Field Goddess.
Once she spoke to me which was exciting to me because no one else in that town has said she spoke to them.
When she died the town's Bank reported to the paper that she had an account, and had thousands and thousands of dollars in the Bank. Also told she has a daughter listed on the account.
Who would have guessed she was a real rich lady that slept in the green fields and wore rags.
07-27-2015 02:06 PM
Thank you for all your kind stories. I also donate to local food bank and a homeless shelter. I was grateful that I could help this man and to know him and to see his gentle way. I will never forget is smile. The only thing that bothers me is where was he laid to rest. A forgotten soul. Materialistic world we live in today but many people try to help the homeless.
07-27-2015 02:30 PM
I can't recall ever seeing an obviously homeless person in my town. But I do work in a major city and I take the commuter train into one of the major terminals, so I do see homeless people and panhandlers there. I always give them $3, $4, $5. Yeah, my friends always chastise me for it. They say he's only going to buy drugs or alcohol with they money. They say he's a professional panhandler and makes a good living off it. It might be true, sometimes. But I'd rather give a person a few dollars to get something to eat or a a few dollars to get on a train or bus than see someone go hungry or be stranded somewhere. That $5 means nothing to me but it might mean the world to someone in need. Just last week, a young man who looked like a student was asking commuters for $1 so he could get on the train. I heard him tell a man who gave him a $1 that he needed to get to his training program. It was a Monday, I had no single dollars or change on me. I had a $20 and I gave him the $20 and asked him to pay it forward someday. And he started to cry. Right there in the station. He thanked me profusely and kept saying "you don't know what this means to me, Ma'm". We were walking in the same direction and he said that the $20 would get him to his program for the remainder of the week and on Friday, he would get his first stipend check from his work study program. He said he was living in a halfway house after being in prison for 8 years. He had a place to live and meals but no money until those stipend checks started. He was so afraid that he'd be dropped from the training program if he couldn't get there. He said my kindness would "save him". That man was not homeless per se but he was in dire straits and I like to think that I helped keep him stay on the path to better life.
07-27-2015 02:44 PM - edited 07-27-2015 03:11 PM
My son, who was in high school at the time, every Sat. we made sack lunches and drive around and distribute them.
Just recently I tried to help this elder women find her family, no luck, then my husband saw that someone put her picture on facebook trying to help find her family.
Anytime I see her I give her a care package.
For me in my in my late teens, this thread brought up some memories.
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