Give Real Change to the Homeless

New York City’s Department of Homeless Services has launched a campaign to educate the public about helping the homeless. Their message is simple: the best way to aid the homeless is by contacting the agencies designed to aid them.

Someone, reading one of the campaign’s posters in the 14th Street subway station, added a few pithy notes.

The poster

Do I look excited about a shelter? Hell no.


New York City and MTA Unveil ‘Give Real Change’ Public Education Campaign
NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS)
NYC Action Plan to End Homelessness

22 Responses to Give Real Change to the Homeless

  1. […] has begun a campaign to educate the public about helping the homeless. Some still think the best way to help is cash. [Blather From […]


  2. Hahahahaha..that’s hilarious!!


  3. Esther says:

    Too funny! Yeah, they need money!


  4. photowannabe says:

    I struggle with just “giving” them cash.


  5. i have a problem giving money to beggars (for want of a more politically correct word). i wish i could give them food when i see them. money is easily spent, and who knows on what


  6. Olivier says:

    merci pour la traduction du poème d’Aragon.
    Nous avons le même type de campagne en France. Il faut prévenir des centres d’aide quand on voit un SDF dans le froid. Le problème, c’est que beaucoup de SDF refuse les centres d’aide, a cause des règlements souvent trop strict.
    thank you for the translation of the poem of Aragon.
    We have the same type of campaign in France. Must be prevented aid centers when we see a homeless in the cold. The problem is that many homeless people refuse the assistance centers, because of strict regulations too often.


  7. pat griffith says:

    they need to be valued as people -just like you and me — hi miss you.


  8. Trotter says:

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime… (Chinese proverb)!


  9. moi says:

    “home” is the biggest security net I can think of after my family….i cant even begin to imagine what it is like to not have one……


  10. I’ve heard complaints that the shelters are not always a safe place to spend the night.

    Also, a lot of the homeless population, especially those with substance abuse and mental health problems, do not like the rules at the shelter.


  11. A lot of homeless people we see on the street (and they are by no means, a representative sample of the homeless population in NYC) are either drug addicts, alcoholics and/or people with mental health problems.

    The unseen homeless population, i.e. families with young children — are the ones who will NOT benefit by giving homeless people on the street money. Giving money to the service organizations will really help the REAL homeless population.


  12. Okay, I will get off the soap box now. 🙂

    N.B.: I didn’t realized I already commented on this post weeks ago. Opps!


  13. My friend on Orkut shared this link and I’m not dissapointed that I came to your blog.


  14. Gwennie says:

    But if someone Does have a mental instability and obviously is not capable of nourishing themselves, who does? Every time I walk by someone like that I feel as though I’m standing there watching someone who can’t swim drown and I am doing nothing. If they are unAware they have needs, how are they to ask for it? I sometimes want to pack a backpack full of sandwiches, fruits, veggies, and socks but I’m sure this has been thought of before I want to know the positive and negative aspects of this idea……


  15. It’s a sad fact of life that many people who would otherwise be deserving and qualified for various social services do fall through the cracks. No matter how well-thought-out a system is, or how universal the coverage, there will always be those who fail to receive the proper aid and/or treatment.

    However, the overwhelming majority of homeless and destitute individuals are able to quickly find their options, regardless of why they are in their present straits. There is a very effective network among these people where they freely share what is available and how to receive services. Even those who suffer from mental deficiencies are, more often than not, fully cognizant of where and when to receive food and shelter.

    What most people don’t understand is that these people mostly are receiving government aid in the form of Social Security and Supplemental Security, Medicaid and Medicare as well as various other state, county and local aid packages. Even with this help, they continue to live as and where they do, many times, simply because it’s by far the easiest option, in their opinions if not in actual fact.

    By and large, giving directly to the homeless tends to enable the behavior that often led to their homelessness in the first place. Not in every situation, but in the majority of them.

    Even when giving to agencies is considered, one must be careful to select an agency that truly tries to help the ones it serves, not just continue to perpetuate the problem by making it convenient to remain on the streets.

    I always tell people to follow their hearts when deciding if and when to give to needy individuals directly or when selecting which agencies to help, but not to ignore their common sense.


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