Thoughts on homelessness in the city

It is impossible to walk down the street in New York City without seeing someone begging for money.  After a few years living here, you would think that I have gotten used to it. I have not. It takes an emotional toll on me knowing I get up every day wanting for nothing while there are others who don’t know when the next meal is coming.

When I have cash on me, I try to give some money to those who I see begging on the street.  But I sadly admit, even I discriminate amongst the poor.  There are those who look so disheveled and unhealthy that I am even scared to toss a few dollars in their tattered cup.  It saddens me to even think about it.  Why am I to judge which of the homeless I pass deserves money?  

I try so hard to block out their voices.  The pleas for help, some spare change, some food, a place to stay.  I can’t ignore them – it just isn’t right.  Some people tell me the money I give them goes towards drugs and alcohol.  Or maybe that person is a criminal.  Honestly, I don’t know, and it is not for me to decide.  I just try to help when I can.  But I always want to do more, yet I know not what to do.  

I have more to say regarding homelessness in the city, but not right now. Just know this: If you are about to go spend $1000 on a table in a club, or just finished a nice dinner with friends, or  are doing some shopping and you pass someone who would benefit from a few extra dollars - give them a $20.  Will you really miss it?