Do the Homeless Choose to be Homeless?


See question above. Answer. Please elaborate as much as possible supporting your answer.


there are temporary homeless who became homeless due to unfortunate circumstances.

but I think you’re referring to the veteran homeless that has been out in the street for a long time.

I’ve encountered those that have family problems, but they usually find a place to live whether it is with their friends or whatever like a little nomad.

there are ones that are addicted to gambling and constantly roaming around looking for more money.

there are those whose addicted to hard drugs like coke and heroin.

there are society’s rebel who doesn’t want to work a regular job and they find it easier to panhandle.
why work a minimum wage job when you can make $10+ an hour in the busy street? no tax.

long-term homeless people usually have more problems than they are just their circumstances. so it’s kind of their choice. but it’s also mental problems.
usually they might find a place to stay, maybe their cousin or friends. but they get fed up with them and kick them back out into the streets.

like you’ll never see Mexican homeless because they’re always looking for a job and their community wouldn’t let them be roaming around in the streets.
the common homeless people are usually black or white Americans.
the foreigners are always hustling and they have communities that help them out despite being poor and difficult circumstances.

but of course if you go to Mexico, you’ll see Mexican homeless and if you go to India, you’ll see tons of Indian homeless.
but not usually in America.
immigrants that decided to come to America usually have hustler’s mentality so they find a way to survive.


That’s a really insightful reply. Thank you, sups!

I thought I helped one yesterday but kinda had the feeling I was being bamboozeled. It made me sad. I wanted to help and had the feeling I hadn’t. So I started to think… do they want help? Can you even help?

I think everything you said is true. And I’m not sure what else could be said about it.


I’ve seen and heard tell and I’m sure it is true, that many with next to nothing in monies and materials, share with each other. So, even if someone that has more than they need, and shares with them, and it feels awkward or not enough, it still matters and can go far. Maybe farther spiritually than physically, but good nonetheless.
I’ve given to people who show gratitude, people who seem to do it for a living and show expectation and people who seem to feel shame and resentment in getting a handout, even if they are asking for it. The expectation bothers me most.
I think give when you can, it is as important for the giver as the receiver. We never know when we may be switched and get to experience the other [not to say we haven’t at all, but I’ve never been homeless. In my family, you always have a home to get back on your feet, but there is the expectation that you will try and eventually succeed].
I think I’ll write more eventually because I think it is a worthy topic and I am glad you brought it up, but I have to go pick up my kids from school now.


A few do it as a sort of penance for something, and a few seem content with a very simple life with few attachments. Most people genuinely are in very bad circumstances and would definitely rather not be. Could be partly their own fault for other bad choices, but homelessness itself usually not their choice. I think Supernocturnal analyzed reasons for homelessness well; the only thing I want to add is modern life is really a problem for people with low intelligence. There’s a lot of people out there not suited to do work other than repetitive, unskilled labor and it’s very hard to find work and support yourself doing that- even if you have a conscientious work ethic. I see these people increasingly pushed to the fringes of society and class divisions are going to keep getting bigger.

As for panhandlers, I almost always give at least a little cash if I have it and by me it’s up to them what to do with it. I’ve worked in a hospital in the ghetto-ish part of town over 20 years too and will sometimes buy people clothes or other supplies if I get to know them and understand specifics of what would help. Many people very much appreciate our social workers helping them to understand resources available too, again a lot of people are on the cusp of being mentally challenged or have psych issues and it’s very hard for them to figure out how to navigate the system to get help on their own.


if they are very aggressive. or very persuasvive, it’s usually best not to help them.
or you’ll probably feel bamboozeled again.

the ones that REALLY need help usually stay in corner and are not as aggressive.
they usually look down at the ground with their sign or just walk around minding their own business.
those are the one that really needs help.

i mean… everyone needs help.

and certain one negotiate with you, and that pisses me off.
one guy was like “you got 50 cents?” <- if they give you specific number, it’s usually not for transportation or food. don’t buy into these lies.

so i was like "yeah i got 50 cents"
and i gave it to him.

then he asked “can you give me like 4 dollars? i need to catch the bus to my grandmother’s funeral”

i was so mad. it was so fucking obvious he was lying. dead ass.

so i asked about his grandmother and let him tell me bunch of lies that made no sense whatsoever.
so i logically debunked his lies and he mumbled some inaudible shit so i just walked away after saying “yo stop lying for money”

and recently.
this one guy came with very sad face, omg, he was putting on a show.
he was saying he’s hungry. and he’s telling me all these story about his life.
fucking bullshit. i saw this guy 8 years ago. and 3 years ago. and now he’s here again.
so i asked him "what do you wanna eat?"
him: can you buy me chicken?
me: how much is it?
him. uh…um… i think… i think it’s 9 dollars.
me: fuck that. you’re eating rice.
him: can you buy me chicken?
me: what the fuck beggars can’t be choosers. you either eat rice or eat nothing.
him: …okay… i’ll take rice.

i went inside the restaurant and ordered rice.
and the lady said "why you buy him food? he do this everyday for 15 years! don’t buy him food"
so i’m like “i know i saw him 8 years ago. he asked for chicken but i just told him i’ll get him rice”

and he didn’t say thank you or anything.
i saw him talking to other people doing the same shit…

and one random guy at the restaurant told me how he helped him pay for his meal and the guy was being rude to the restaurant workers. and that turned him off and he never helped the guy again.

i like helping people. but i don’t feel good about helping panhandlers.
the only homeless i like helping is the one that stays quiet and don’t ask for stuff.


Thanks for your responses, @supernokturnal, @TinyYellowTree, and @geneva.

I wrote a long-ass reply that made no sense and seemed pointless.

I am thinking money is not the way to help them. This is one of those things where there is no easy answer.


Most of them are psychologically damaged. The real question is do we choose to be psychologically damaged? I.e. the different way people react to traumatic or troubling events.


Most homeless people have trouble dealing with their own sovereignty / free will / subjectivity. Of course you could make the point that they’re free spirits living beyond thee law and status quo, living life as they will (as some free spirited vagabond) some may be, but most are not. Usually they don’t want to deal with the risk/freedom/responsibility of living life in society. They’re the types that would rather suffer than attempt and then fail.


Fuck no. It’s based in PTSD for vets and hella mental illness. It’s not that elaborate. The homeless die in the winter where I’m from (and get moved for the super bowl).


Where I come hardly any of the homeless are veterans, pretty much none. That’s more of an American thing. Likewise a lot of studies (there are some conflicting, some thorough studies showing 15% mental health issues compared to more lackadaisical studies which claim that 70% have mental health issues) show that mental illness isn’t even that statistically higher in these people than the average person/society (although there are different studies that determine what the average percent of society suffers from mental health).

The thing to remember is that the overwhelming majority of homeless people are not the jibbering crazy guys sleeping bins and shouting out profanities to people — these are a tiny minority. Most homeless people are those who living in the suburbs, living in their cars, sleeping from couch to couch, or tents, etc. I.e. there’s hobos and then there’s the living homeless.