There’s been a few questions around the various survival and prep forums, as well as a few questions dropped in the comments section here that could also be related, about how one would handle refugees, beggars and overall charity after TSHTF.
It’s been years since this because a problem here so I’ll just tell how things happened in my country and how I’ve been handling these kind of situations.
With a large portion of the middle class turning poor and the already poor people becoming derelicts, the amount of people roaming around begging increased tremendously.
It’s not just people outside supermarkets begging for some food, they go home to home, stop you on the street.
Maybe you’ve already noticed an increasing number of people begging or panhandling outside supermarkets, grocery stores and gas stations.
Tip: Just wait until it gets worse and managers notice clients don’t feel comfortable there anymore. They’ll have security kicking them out before they get close to the establishment.
On the street, even if you are a charitable person, you really do NOT want to get used to stopping and listening to any beggar you come across. Not only will you be loosing a couple hours of your day when the amount of beggars increases, most of them with very tragic stories, but you’ll also turn yourself into a favorite target of any criminal that is just looking to distract you while an accomplice hits you over the head or stanches you bag/purse/pack/briefcase.
But what about people going door to door?
As things gets worse this turns into something you have to deal with, you just can’t avoid people standing at your door and start ringing the bell.
Here’s where fact and fiction part ways.
In an ideal world, we would all hand out some kind of help to these poor souls, at least a bit to each as long as we can afford it.
Fact: Even Bill Gates can’t afford the endless line he’d face at his door front once the word gets around that a particular charitable person is willing to listen to their troubles and offer some help.
Old people, kids, cripples, sick, people with true heart braking stories, they show up almost on daily basis at the door. Add to these sincere people, those that are just bums or addicts looking to make some coin, or the dedicated con men that send kids around asking for money.
You do not have time to help everyone. There’s so many of them, just listening to half of them will take most of your weekend.
The way I handle it?
Most of the time I don’t even answer the door if I don’t recognize who’s out there.
I want to spend time with my family when I’m home, not answer the door all day.
In some occasions, when there are kids, I offer them some food.
If they refuse the food I know that they are not that hungry and more than likely the money isn’t even for them, but for some addict parent or relative that exploits them.
I should mention here as well, that as the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. So IF I answer the door, I’m doing so armed, and talking through the grating metal fence, since many times kids are used as bait for grownups to brake in.
I usually end up with boxes of chocolates and sweets neither of us actually likes, and that’s what I usually end up giving away to the kids. Either that or some pudding cake, or some other food they can eat right there, before getting home where the parent will more than likely take it away form them for himself or to sell.
If I helped a kid one day and the following they other show up, I either tell them that I can’t help or I don’t even answer the door. That way I avoid a reputation and the constant bagging that would come along with it.
This is a touchy issue and religion and the “Christian thing to do” comes into play, but unless you realize how many desperately poor people are out there, you really don’t know how impossible it is, to help everyone.
Once you realize the magnitude of the social poverty, you understand like I do that you can’t help everyone.
It’s much better to refuse this kind of begging that could get out of control, and find other ways to help if that what you want to do.
Once or twice a year, I take the clothes we don’t use anymore to the small local Catholic church.
There they make sure the most needy families get what they need, and the charity is distributed much better among those that need it the most.
So, watch out who you answer your door to, don’t open it unless you have another barrier (tall fence) or else deal through a window, give out charity only occasionally, NEVER give them money, no matter what story they come up with ( need meds for my dieing son among others I’ve heard) and if possible give away food that can be eaten right away.