Why not? I read Tony's blog start to finish and will continue to read it. Got me to thinking again. I have never been one to begrudge a homeless person some change. So what if they use it to buy a beer? I like a beer now and then too. Just cause their homeless they can't have a drink? So you're contributing to their habit. They don't have much else in life and chances are they aren't going to ditch the habit anytime soon. Don't want to give change? Ask them if you can buy them a coffee or lunch. And take some time to sit down and chat with them. These are PEOPLE. And most of them don't have much happiness, hope, friendship or love in their lives. Spread a little. Especially if you have all of the above in abundance.
When I worked at Starbucks on “The Ave” (University Way) in Seattle in college there were 2-3 older guys who were regulars out front. We had to dump the coffee each hour and brew fresh and we always filled their cups first before dumping and gave them the leftover pastries at the end of the day. Wasn’t much but we liked those guys.
So now I live in Central Oregon and we don’t see that many homeless on the streets, but there are some and some local shelters. I really need to check into doing more. But I was also thinking that it would be nice to start an “adopt a local” kind of thing, especially in bigger cities. I often refrained from dropping coins in big cities because in a few blocks I would see so many and I couldn’t make up my mind which cap to put it in. But what about “adopting” someone you pass by frequently, like the gal who makes Tony sandwiches, and Phil who hosts Tony's blog and has befriended him, and like we did back in the day at Starbucks? But make it an actual campaign with some real reaching out and friendship involved. Get to know the person. Invite them to dinner or to stay the night on occassion (I mean really, if they have hung out on the same corner for years and you see them everyday, the chances of something bad happening are slim).
At the very least pass on your extra clothes to them, or backpacks and other gear when cleaning out the closet, or just buy something on sale you think they could use. Wish I had more time to organize something like that.