What do you think of this situation? - Ferrari Life
View Poll Results: Would you do something like this? (Names aren't shown with answers)
Yes, I would have done this. 2 20.00%
No, I would've brought food for him. 1 10.00%
No, I would've given him a little money 2 20.00%
No, I would've driven past. 5 50.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

 
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-19-2009, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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What do you think of this situation?

I am curious what people think about this situation. I have heard from many friends different answers about what I did.

I started school last week so I drive down to Detroit everyday to go to class. I was going home after class this past Friday and I was stopped at a light on a major road and a homeless man was sitting on the side of the road near the light with a sign saying, "Hungry, please help". I proceeded to roll my window down and give the guy a dollar. He was very thankful with this. I then proceeded to drive home. I however about 100 feet from my house turned around and drove back. I live about 22~24 miles away from where this guy was. I pulled up to the light, rolled my window down and asked him if he would like to go to McDonalds, and he replied immediately with a yes, God Bless you. I let him in my car and drove a mile down the road to a McDonalds. (Keep in mind this is a not so good part of town...as in being a white college student and not being in a car is not the best) Long story short I offered him any meal on the menu and he was extraordinarily grateful (More to this but I don't want to type too much right now). I saw him going through his money while we waited for the food. He had about $1.75. He told me he was out there over 3 hours that day so far....I gave him the $1. He had $0.75 in nickels and pennies for 3 hours. I talked to him for over a half hour about his life, my life, and life in general. He said he hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. I then drove him to the abandoned house he stays in. (More...will write later if wanted.)

This was probably one of the best experiences that I have had. It was one of those major reality checks on the world outside of which I live.

“ To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”-Anatole France
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 01:15 AM
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Good for you, Chris. With the economy in the dumbs and possibly worse is yet to come, the realities are cruel, indeed. Sounds like you had an interesting day. Any more details on conversations ? w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 02:21 AM
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Chris that was a really nice thing you did. Not to many would have the patience to take the time to do such a thing these days.
Proud of you.

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post #4 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 04:46 AM
 
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Chris, you definitely did a good thing but I'm not sure if it's good when you look at the "big picture".

I say that because here in Brazil there is always (and I mean really ALWAYS) someone at the lights asking for money, someone to "watch your car" when you leave it parked, etc.

So what I'm trying to say is: of course you did well helping someone in need. But if everyone helps (like here in Brazil) people start to make more money just by asking on the streets than by working - like we all should.

And that can get scary, there is a real army here of people that live by asking money. And here if you don't give money to them when you park your car, for example, they damage your car. I tell you that from experience, for example once the guy "watching the parked cars" asked for 5 reais - about 3 dollars - and I only had 2 reais, which I gave him and told I'd give the rest when I came back, and when I did come back the car had three flat tires. Besides that, my father already had his car's pain scratched and I've even seen them throw a brick on the windshield of car. No good in calling the police, because they receive a percentage of what these "car watchers" make.

So here in Brazil the rule is: if you can avoid to give people money, that's what you do. When there is no option, give them what they ask for or you'll face some pretty serious damage.

Of course the situation in the USA is very different (I've been there and know exactly how it is), but it all begins like that, and later when there is an entire system working to take your money, there isn't much to do... So perhaps you should cut the evil before it grows?

Not sure this makes sense, these are just some ideas for you to think about and discuss.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." - J. P. Kennedy
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 06:51 AM
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Hey Chris,

This is a tough question and difficult situation depending on where you are. Here in Ottawa, there are a few places where homeless people ask for money at street lights and it happens to be next to the missions. The problem with this is they are being watched by others and get taxed on the money they receive. The person taxing buys drugs. Most homeless are either high or drunk and it creates a problem when giving money because they become agitated when high or drunk and create a disturbance to people who walk on the street and Police are almost always there.

When I used to work downtown, I used to walk over to a coffee shop in the morning (Tim Hortons) and there was a homeless man in his 50’s with a dog that would not pan handle but would say good morning and hello’s to everyone passing by with great enthusiasm. I would give him a few dollars here and there as he was not there every day (sometimes on other blocks). I once asked if he wanted something to eat (McDonalds breakfast) because there was a McDonalds on the way to the coffee shop (I don’t eat McDonalds ever but would have gotten him something) and he said “No thanks, someone already bought me breakfast this morning but I would like a coffee” So I walked in bough a breakfast and coffee and walked over to him. He said “I already ate and don’t want to be ungrateful” I said “then give it to your dog”, he said “Thank you very much, he hasn’t had much since last night and my breakfast was small this morning and only gave him a few little piece”

I had bought him 3 potato paddies, an egg sandwich with a coffee. He had one paddy and gave the rest to his dog. I would do this once in a while until I changed jobs and no longer worked downtown.


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post #6 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 07:27 AM
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But on another note, I used to volunteer at the Ronald McDonalds House here in Ottawa next to the Children’s Hospital every Wednesday for 5 years. What this place is, is a place for parents who can’t afford to stay in a hotel for sometimes weeks at a time while their kids are being treated for a major illness. These families would buy their own food and store it in a cupboard with the room number on it and have a few fridges with sections reserved for them.

I used to buy the groceries for what I needed; I would make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce and make meat balls (about 5 hours). I would arrive around 11 am and at about 3 pm, the smell of the sauce and meatballs would fill the house and one by one, the families would come out of their rooms, and you could see a smile on their face that someone was making diner for them. I would cook either spaghetti or make 2-3 lasagnas and always had lots of sauce left for another day. It felt really good to know that they really liked it as they would come over and say “hey, you were here last week and the food was excellent, thank you”. And you could see small children with cancer walking around some as young as one year old, no hair but playing quietly or walking up to me looking at what I was doing. The cooking part was really easy because my father was an International Chef for 35 years and died of cancer and he thought me how to cook.

What was the most difficult part and hard for me while making diner was watching the sick kids walking around with a toy or sitting in the kitchen watching me with a tired and sad look on their face and sometimes giving me a smile here and there. On a few occasions when only the parents of kids were in the house because the kids were too weak or sick to leave the hospital, some parents didn’t have the mental energy to go downstairs to make themselves something to eat, would come down ask who I was cooking for and I would reply…”for you and everyone else in the house”. Some would cry, or come over and give me a hug or shake my hand and say thank you. That Chris….is when you know you are doing a great thing. It would bring tears to my eyes and still now as im writing this as I am remembering the faces of those kids and parents whom I saw and will never forget.



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post #7 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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Mario, you're now talking about a completely different thing, volunteer work is a great thing because you know that you are helping people in need, and not people that want to profit from the others' generosity.

Yes to volunteer work, no to giving money to people on red lights, that's what I (try to) do here...

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Good for you, Chris. With the economy in the dumbs and possibly worse is yet to come, the realities are cruel, indeed. Sounds like you had an interesting day. Any more details on conversations ? w/ smiles Jimmy
Well, when I was in McDonalds with Joel, he was telling me that due to the economy caused his job to become obsolete, which in turn caused him to lose him home. He has not been able to find a job for a very long time, which has caused him to become homeless and begging. The abandoned house he stays in is actually a foreclosed home that the bank hasn't done anything with so far. It has water and is shelter. He said the only thing that he doesn't have food, which is why he is on the street begging. He had no interest in money, except to use it for means of food. I dropped him off at home, because he told me that is his food for the day and that is the only reason he needs the small amount of money that he can get his hands on. He was an extremely upbeat guy for having the life he is having right now. He was beyond grateful, he constantly said "thank you, and God Bless you" throughout the 45 minutes or so I spent with him. He told me he thanks God everyday that he is still alive. It really stuck with me when he told me that I it is great that I stopped to help him because you never know when you will need help yourself. Like he said maybe one day he might be in the position to help me. It is very true in that you never know what will happen in the future. My talking to him and learning about his life and troubles really makes me feel blessed for the life that I have.

“ To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”-Anatole France
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 11:31 AM
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Chris, I really think you did a great thing not just for him, but for yourself more. Nevertheless, you must be cautious in today's world, sad to say so. Probably, a better way to express such feelings is thru somekind of volunteer organizations, helping these people in need, as Mario mentioned. One on one can be risky, Chris. You're still young, thus what goes thru your mind is perfectly understandable. Yet, the points mentioned by others here are realities too. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Chris, I really think you did a great thing not just for him, but for yourself more. Nevertheless, you must be cautious in today's world, sad to say so. Probably, a better way to express such feelings is thru somekind of volunteer organizations, helping these people in need, as Mario mentioned. One on one can be risky, Chris. You're still young, thus what goes thru your mind is perfectly understandable. Yet, the points mentioned by others here are realities too. w/ smiles Jimmy
Yes, I am very aware of the world today and how dangerous it can be. Going to school in Detroit I frequently look behind me when going to my night classes while walking on campus. I have no idea why I did this. I just kind of did. I will be doing volunteer work for my Sociology class this semester and I am very aware that is much safer to do. Again, I'm not sure why I drove back and did what I did, but I did. As I told somebody from work who said I was stupid because he could have shot me, I could get shot walking on campus, driving down McNichols (bad road my school is on) or get hit by a semi. It is dangerous to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive in the area of my school because the people that live down there don't follow any road laws and have no mirrors (I'd say at least 25% of cars don't have mirrors). They swerve in and out of traffic blindly, but I do it on a daily basis. So everything is relative to the situation that you are talking about. I probably would never do this again, but I am sure glad I did.

“ To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”-Anatole France
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 04:25 PM
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So good to see that the good Samaritan is still in you, Chris. You make us proud. Good luck with your studies. Winter is not too far away, right ? w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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So good to see that the good Samaritan is still in you, Chris. You make us proud. Good luck with your studies. Winter is not too far away, right ? w/ smiles Jimmy
Thank you Jimmy. I need it, taking Orgo this semester. Winter is still a couple months off....I hope, you can never be certain with Michigan weather.

“ To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”-Anatole France
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 06:53 PM
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Hi Chris,

I went to high school in inner city Cleveland and worked downtown (and walked about a dozen blocks from the bus or parking lot every day). Have had much exposure to homeless people. Here are some thoughts:

I don't know if they still have them, but an old practice among the generous was to carry McDonald's gift certificates with you, so when someone asks you for money, you can offer them that.

Why? Because the majority are using it for booze/drugs/wine/drugs/etc.

I remember I'd often offer a portion of my brown bag lunch to people who said they were hungry, and they weren't interested.

If you picked up a homeless guy and he was actually hungry -- cool. But he's probably literally one out of fifty who wasn't just trying to collect drug money.

In Cleveland (and most U.S. cities), there are numerous homeless shelters and soup kitchens, etc. These places are run by dedicated volunteers, they are very efficient with little money and are able to feed more people per dollar. Every homeless person knows where they are; if you ever feel the need to be generous, that's a good place to donate money.


As for the dangers of picking up a stranger . . . I have more faith in the goodness of humanity than some of the more jaded/insulated types. I think God will look out for you when you are genuinely doing something to help another. You hear all kinds of stories about people who got kidnapped/slaughtered/mugged/etc. when helping a stranger, but a) the majority of those "stories" are told by people who turn their noses up at the homeless and have never been near them (much less stopped to help someone), and b) for every one true negative occurrence we hear about, there are many, many acts of kindness and generosity like yours that go unmentioned, unrecorded, unknown by others.

Sure, you have to have some street smarts, but unbeknown to many of the people hiding out in their suburban cul-de-sacs who think the city is a terrible and dangerous place, there are as many good, honest people in the ghettos and slums as there are anywhere else, and these people deserve the same respect as someone golfing at a country club or shopping at a pricey mall.

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post #14 of 20 Old 09-20-2009, 06:54 PM
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Looks like you've got tough subjects ahead, Chris. (I should know, of course !). w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrishawk4 View Post
I am curious what people think about this situation. I have heard from many friends different answers about what I did.

I started school last week so I drive down to Detroit everyday to go to class. I was going home after class this past Friday and I was stopped at a light on a major road and a homeless man was sitting on the side of the road near the light with a sign saying, "Hungry, please help". I proceeded to roll my window down and give the guy a dollar. He was very thankful with this. I then proceeded to drive home. I however about 100 feet from my house turned around and drove back. I live about 22~24 miles away from where this guy was. I pulled up to the light, rolled my window down and asked him if he would like to go to McDonalds, and he replied immediately with a yes, God Bless you. I let him in my car and drove a mile down the road to a McDonalds. (Keep in mind this is a not so good part of town...as in being a white college student and not being in a car is not the best) Long story short I offered him any meal on the menu and he was extraordinarily grateful (More to this but I don't want to type too much right now). I saw him going through his money while we waited for the food. He had about $1.75. He told me he was out there over 3 hours that day so far....I gave him the $1. He had $0.75 in nickels and pennies for 3 hours. I talked to him for over a half hour about his life, my life, and life in general. He said he hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. I then drove him to the abandoned house he stays in. (More...will write later if wanted.)

This was probably one of the best experiences that I have had. It was one of those major reality checks on the world outside of which I live.

good for you Chris. I don't do that all the time, but endorse it and have been there, done that.

Sometimes the ships passing just collide/extremis [and I don't mean the medical term...nautical] you just go there and life is better for it.

we'll have to meet someday.

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post #16 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 11:11 AM
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Last month traveling through NYC on the interstate highway we were stuck in a major traffic snarl caused by some lonely despid threatening to jump off the George Washington bridge. My first thought...hey officer, loan me your gun...I'll get him down. That dissopated relatively quickly and there we sat until this issue was resloved.

While sitting there baking in the hot midday sun, a gentleman was walking through traffic with a pail of ice and bottles of cold spring water. Thinking of how imaginative this guy was I rolled down the window and called him over, bought a bottle at a buck each for my family and contradulated him on his obvious entreprenuerial skills. I thought that was just the best way to pull yourself up by the boot straps. Good for him.

After clearing the mess (2 hours later) we were traveling along the highway talking about the experience when my daughter thought...hmm...I wonder if the jumper was his partner???

Snapped me back to reality instantly.

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post #17 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 11:34 AM
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Chris, you did a very charitable thing there and good on you.

When I was younger, I might have considered doing something similar, but I have to admit that as I have got older and worked harder and paid more taxes I have become far more cynical of homeless people.

I have travelled the world and seen really poor people. I have far more sympathy for the poor people in slums in India or Africa than I do for poor people in 1st World countries.

Why? Because the poor people in the 3rd world can never get out of poverty, despite the majority of them wanting to. Their Governments are rotten to the core and the aid money meant for the poor people does not get through to them. These people have nothing and never will have anything. They live and die in the slums.

There is no excuse for homelessness or vagrancy in the western world. For many (not all) homeless people it is a lifestyle choice, others end up on the streets due to their addictions to drugs or alcohol. I'm sorry but I dont have any sympathy for people who self inflicted their own problems. We all have choices in life, I chose not to drink myself stupid and smoke crack or inject heroin. In the Uk, there are some vagrants who have made begging an occupation. I won't give to them, unless they are prepared to make their own life better and work out of poverty (Big Issue sellers).

For the others where homelessness is not their fault, mentally ill people, or others who worked hard and lost everything due to the economy, I have far more sympathy. This is where the welfare state should help these people re-house themselves and re-educate themselves so that they can get a job, pay their taxes and not be a burden on the state for too long.

Sorry, but I'm not very Christian or charitable.

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post #18 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 12:07 PM
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Answered the pole truthfully...I would have driven by. Sad that I have to feel that way but I'm tired of being taken advantage of. My taxes already take care of him.

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post #19 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 10:53 PM
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Chris you are one good Samaritan good man. I have given food before but more often then not they want money instead so answer to your question was a tough one. I guess it all depends on the individual and how he or she looks and acts towards you.

This Sat night I parked in front of my favorite Lounge with never a problem but that night there was a native fellow hanging by the spider, as we walk up instead of asking nicely he starts with " hey you rich guy, hey Magnum give me some money so I can get beer, hey Magnum I'm talking to you" I looked at him and replied " because your were honest enough to tell me what you needed the money for I will not kick your a$$ now f#ck off ".

Did I feel bad-yes
Did he deserve it-yes
Did my buddy laugh at me being called Magnum-yes
Did my buddy walk home-NO I was laughing pretty hard too.

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post #20 of 20 Old 09-22-2009, 12:05 AM
 
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I'm thinking that giving a homeless person McDonalds food is rather evil. Everyone knows that an hour after McFood, you're hungry again... also it's not very tasty food. So I'm gonna be on the other side of this story and say: Chris... that wasn't very nice



But seriously... I'm with Archie. Charity never seems to work. Africa is still as poor as it was 30-40-50 years ago and the governments there are the only ones who seem to be benifiting from our aid-work. Sure there are some succes stories but they are too few and far between to make a constructive and permanent change there. And to get out one of my favorites to blame for (part of) this: I (partly, mostly) blame te catholic church.
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