In your travels, especially in large cities in the US and abroad, you’ll encounter unfortunate street people. And this season, the numbers may be the highest in recent years. Some are beggars who appeal to you directly, while others just sit on pavements and benches in obvious poverty.
What should you do about the tragic sights? The first impulse of kindly senior travelers is to hand out money. However, a significant percentage of homeless people are on the street because of mental illness, many due to drug and/or alcohol addiction. And that’s where your directly-gifted money is too often grabbed by illegal dealers.
Therefore, if you want your donation to do the most good for the homeless, make contributions to organizations that give them effective, professional aid. Among them are the Red Cross, Salvation Army and the National Coalition for the Homeless. Check online for these and other services where you can help most effectively during the holiday season.