- Acknowledge the homeless person, whether you intend to give money or not. Do not treat them as if they do not exist;
- If you’re going to give, don’t question what the money will be spent on;
- Give food instead of money;
- Hand them a street sense, which lists homeless services in each issue;
- Be safe, if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, contact the police.
This blogger is a big fan of Street Sense, and thought this was a good approach to the subject of panhandling. The first tip seems to me to be the biggie (along with the last one, personal safety of course), responding to the homeless when they speak to you. Even if just to say “sorry, not today.” Anecdotally, the one about giving food instead of money doesn’t seem to work in the real world though, as almost every time I’ve tried it, the food has been rejected.