Giving money to panhandlers may make us feel good for a moment, but cash spent on feeding addictions shortens the life of homeless individuals and supports their ability to live on the street rather than get permanent help. So what makes us feel good in the short term is not good in the long term.
There's another way to help. Give to charities that provide meals, medical attention, case management and housing services that get people off the streets and focused on long-term solutions. Reducing homelessness requires all of us to say, "No," to panhandlers, which will help create a cleaner and safer environment for everyone.