“Pondering: Yesterday, I saw a young woman holding a sign “HOMELESS NEED HELP!!”
Standing outside a small business area with signs of “NOW HIRING” “IMMEDIATE OPENINGS” in several windows.”

Granted, in my little rural world, we do not see this sort of thing often, nor was she the only one we saw. I wondered about the woman and the circumstances when I posted the above statement on Facebook. She was not the only one we saw, but her face remained in my thoughts long after we passed by. I followed the post up with this comment : I’m not trying to judge, just pointing out something I saw and it caused me to think. I don’t know what her circumstances or motivation were. I also realize that even had she put in applications at those businesses, and been hired, it would be a time before a paycheck and that paycheck would not provide an immediate home, nor food for the next meal… Times are tough for many, but there are also many who try to take advantage
God will have to sort that out. Meanwhile, I will still think about this and hope people can at least have the basic necessities we all take so much for granted

The post received a number of comments, ranging from such as this, “A woman here locally paid for her son’s college with a homeless sign” and “We have a husband and wife here that work each end of town. At the end of the day they both toss their hungry, homeless sign’s in the back of brand new vehicles.”  Which, very sadly, I am sure are true. And a reason why many folks seem to be much less concerned than just a few years ago.

Other comments, like this one , “I think there are 500 million reasons people are homeless and unable to get work that are legit. It’s hard to get a job if you don’t have an address. It’s hard to get an address if you don’t have a job. If you have mental health issues and have been dumped out of the system for a variety of reasons, it could be hard to get a job or keep a job. That being said, I also know a lot of people around here who lie and panhandle as their job. I just don’t trust anyone. I agree, give to charities and shelters and whatever makes you feel right and good. It’s so sad. All of it.”

And this one: I used to gave money and food until… Once I gave a young mom, with a couple of small children, holding a sign, in Colorado Springs. I gave her $20 (I think), and food, then asked if there was anything else I could do to help them. She said no, they’d be fine, but she looked nervous the longer I talked…then her husband came out of McDonald’s carrying an arm load of food and drinks. Yeah…I just walked off. Then, here in Wichita, near Lowes just off Hwy 54, I gave a man a fistfull of money and food because he had a sign, crutches, and a cast on his leg. I drove off, but remembered I had to go back to the store, so turned around and headed back…just in time to see him walking, with NO LIMP, the crutches slung over his shoulder, and get into a brand new car and drive off. grrrrrrrrrrrrr”.

A poignant comment mentioned that due to lack of sanitation and clean clothes, many homeless people were afraid to apply for jobs. A valid point, while someone else remarked that with all the shelters and such, no one should be homeless.

And my final quote: “Mary, there is a panhandler that pops up around town all the time. He looks to be late thirties, early 40s. I had small job one day and stopped to see if he wanted it. He couldnt say no fast enough. I later heard that some panhandlers are making thousands per week, tax free. Very sad”

I don’t have answers. The sight gave me pause to think. Charity begins and ends with us, but as one person said, with all the scams, how do we know if someone really needs help?