Don't worry how it's spent, always give homeless a hand
By Pope Francis
CatholicNews Sunday March 19, 2017
VATICAN CITY - People who don't give money to the homeless because they think it will be spent on alcohol and not food should ask themselves what guilty pleasures they are secretly spending money on, Pope Francis said.
"There are many excuses" to justify why one doesn't lend a hand when asked by a person begging on the street, he said in an interview published the day before the beginning of Lent.
But giving something to someone in need "is always right," and it should be done with respect and compassion.
The interview, published on Feb 28, was conducted by the monthly magazine, Scarp de' Tenis (Tennis Shoes), which serves homeless and marginalised people in Milan.
Of the several questions the pope was asked, one focused on whether he thought giving money to people begging on the street was the right thing to do.
One thing people may tell themselves to feel better about not giving anything, the pope said, is "I give money and then he spends it on drinking a glass of wine."
But, the pope said, if "a glass of wine is the only happiness he has in life, that's OK. Instead, ask yourself what do you do on the sly? What `happiness' do you seek in secret?"
Or, another way to look at it, the pope said, is recognise how "you are luckier, with a house, a wife, children" and then ask why should the responsibility to help be pushed onto someone else.
When encountering people who live on the street, the pope said he always greets them and sometimes inquires about their lives and background.
He always chatted with a homeless family and couple that lived next to the archbishop's residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he said, and never considered getting rid of them.