Michael Thompson stands by the NE 65th St. exit from I-5 with a sign asking for help. He suggests providing food, warm clothing, and work to panhandlers.
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Michael Thompson stands by the NE 65th St. exit from I-5 with a sign asking for help. He suggests providing food, warm clothing, and work to panhandlers.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

The panhandlers dilemma: A priest, a rabbi and an advocate weigh in

A priest, a rabbi and an advocate discuss the dilemma faced when someone on the street asks for money.

So let’s say you’re driving down a highway ramp and you get to a stop light. Someone is there waiting for you. And they have a sign made out of cardboard and it says, “Need help. Will work. God Bless.”

What do you do?

You could give them money, but maybe they’re just going to use it to buy booze or drugs. You could donate to an organization that helps people experiencing homelessness – but that doesn’t do anything for the person standing on the other side of your window in the rain.

To give or not to give? That is the question we tackle on this episode of SoundQs with the help of a priest, a rabbi and an advocate for people who are homeless.

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button above or on your favorite podcast app. SoundQs is a weekly podcast where our KUOW reporters tackle questions submitted by our listeners.

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