Can You Pass This Month’s Test on Homelessness?
EXTRA CREDIT ANSWER
You could deal with this situation in several ways. You might give everything to the man, everything to the woman, some food to each, or not give anything away at all. What criteria would help you decide?
First, consider each homeless person’s appearance. If the woman was dirty, weatherworn and was lugging trash bags and suitcases, but the man was clean and had no homeless people’s “gear,” you would probably give the food to the woman.
Second, you might respond according to personal bias; for example, you might only help people of your own gender. Further, certain men and women might be afraid to help rough-looking homeless men, or they might believe homeless women need more assistance than homeless men do. Others might assist only those over age 50, believing that younger homeless people can easily help themselves.
Finally, you might act primarily out of convenience. For instance, passing food out of your car window would be easier than driving to the opposite corner, pulling to the curb, and attempting to place the food into the homeless person’s hands. We hope you would help in the best way possible, remembering that most unsheltered people are grateful when receiving compassionate assistance.
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Homeless people have felt the added crunch because of the lingering bad economy. You can help them by donating to West Side Homeless Outreach.
Randy lost his job and became homeless, proving that bad things can happen to good people.
Jake (left), a middle-school volunteer, feeds a homeless man in Venice. West Side Homeless Outreach specializes in helping people who literally live on the streets and sidewalks of west Los Angeles County.