Not a Handout, Just a Hand
Do remember, however, that there are many others in my situation who also need help, perhaps just down the street from you. And each city with a homeless population I'm sure has local resources that would be glad to see some recgonition and fundage*.
I was reading yesterday about the founder of the Interfaith Hospitalilty Network, Karen Olsen, of which GIHN is a local affiliate. Turns out this huge idea she had of pulling together local houses of worship to help the homeless all stemmed from a sandwich she supplied to a homeless woman one day. The full story is in Courage is Contagious, by John Kasich.
*I know it may not be proper grammar; I just like the sound of it -- fundage.
I met someone recently who turned my thinking around a little bit on the whole "charity" thing.
He is with a group called "relational tithe" and one of their goals in giving away resources is that they try and stay with "one degree of separation".
So on the one hand I think it is a very good thing to give to an organization which then gives to people in need.
But on the other hand I think it is also good to give to people one knows (at some level) personally.
I think of panhandling as a stranger asking me for $$$.
When a friend or even an acquaintance communicates a financial need it, I see that as connecting; as sharing, relationally, the realities of life together -- the whole "a burden shared is a burden halved" sort of thing.