What do you do when someone on the street asks you for money? 99.9% of the time, I say no thank you and keep walking. I don't believe its helpful to hand out cash to the homeless our down and out, I'd rather give those funds to charities who help the homeless. Note - I use to work in social services.
This morning, it was dark and very early (before 6:00 a.m.), and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some coffee.* I was still half asleep when a middle aged man in a work uniform asked me if I could spare 75 cents so he could catch the bus. My initial reaction was to be startled since it was dark, I was sleepy and I was thinking about my work day and all that I needed to accomplish. My second reaction was to say no thank you which is what I normally do, but I ended up giving him a dollar (most of the time I carry no cash so the fact I had a dollar was a surprise) and told/asked him to "be kind to the next person." He followed me into DD and asked the clerk for change and when I left he was sitting at the bus stop.
Did I make the right choice? I really have no idea. I've never seen this person before so this is not a regular scam at my DD (if it is a scam) and he really did present as a blue collar worker trying to get to his job.
What would you do?
*Buying coffee on a daily basis is a dumb financial move but when it is super early (before 6:00a.m.) and I'm heading to work I treat myself.