I don’t know what it is about me, but I seem to attract sketchy looking beggars around here. Perhaps it is the fact that I am a young naive-looking female- who knows. Anyway, in the past couple months, I have been approached about four or five times in random parking lots (in Raleigh, not here in Clayton where we live) by men with the same story… “hey yo- my car is parked over in the next parking lot and I aint got no mo’ gas. I was wondering if you could spare some change and help a brotha out.”

Now, I am not typically one to get weirded out by beggars. I mean, I LOVE the poor! I just don’t know how to react to these recent abrasive and in-your-face encounters. I am really quite conflicted. I know we are called to love and serve the poor (and I must pose the question- are these guys who are coming up to me really poor??), but I also have felt unnerved and unsafe when approached. So, do I give my money and stay and talk even though I might be putting myself in an unsafe situation? (I hear my mother shouting “NO! NO!” at her computer screen right about now.) Do I walk past them and straight up ignore these men? (Don’t think so.) I don’t know.

Any suggestions??

3 Comments on shady encounters in raleigh

  1. You do not look them in the eye but say, “Sorry, I can’t help you” and do not break your stride.

  2. ditto. We all do what we can do to help others. Putting yourself in unsafe situations is NOT what you can do to help other! But there are so many others you CAN do!!! Working in DC and being in the city a lot, I run into these kinds of situations all the time! But I choose to help in other ways–donating to charities that offer assistance to people in need, participating in food drives at work, etc. there are other opportunities to help the city’s homeless than me handing out change or money for the metro to people I encounter in the street.

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