Panhandling is very destructive to society as well as the panhandler himself. People forget that giving money to a homeless person does not necessarily provide any benefit to anyone. You could be helping that person get drugs when that money could have helped a charity give a meal to someone in need of real help. Why give directly to a complete stranger when you can give to a charity that knows what the homeless need and can give that to them ? I remember reading a research paper by Dr. Hwang (who by the way is a Harvard Graduate as well as a professor in the University of Toronto) which found that almost every panhandler that was interviewed admitted to substance abuse. It was something like 13% that had not done drugs or alcohol in the previous year. Giving to panhandlers is only contributing to the big issue which is the amount of homeless people. If what you want is people out of the streets than giving them money is just an incentive for them to stay, because that is how they can get cash. It is better to attack the problem from the root and make panhandling less of an appeal for homeless people. We need more donation programs, more charities, more fundraisers. We need people to unite and make a difference that will impact a greater portion of the panhandlers and give them the resources they need to stop doing it. Its time for change and its time for us to contribute to the solution, not the problem.
It's dangerous to everyone.