I too struggle with whether or not to give money to the homeless people on the corners. I work on a trauma unit as a RN, which means I, like you, have seen the criminals, the drug addicts, the “crazies”. It has made my heart a bit harder, I have to admit, but I still want to volunteer at the shelters when I can, and I hope to help in that way.
A few days ago, my daughters and I were passing by a homeless man at an intersection not far from our home in Nashville. He was dirty and unkempt, I am certain from hours standing in the heat on the corner. He also seemed a little off–you know, not quite playing with a full deck… which isn’t all that unusual with homeless people.
We all three watched as people ignored him, shooed him away from their cars. Quite frankly, I was getting ready to do the same. Having worked on “crackhead row” in Chicago (off Cicero and 47th), I had become hardened to so many folks begging at the light–especially when I had experienced one becoming belligerent when I offered him my untouched, just bought lunch. (He wanted money instead.) I was ready to move on like everyone else at the light, when my children intervened.
One of the girls…
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