Chicago Loop, homelessness, giving money


Well-Known Member

I got off the train and pulled my luggage up some stairs. Kiddie corner to Union Train Station is the Ogalvy Center for trains that go to the suburbs. All I had to do was cross the street twice. One across and then one across the other way. Not even a block.

I saw a sad looking man in old clothes sitting on his walker seat and my heart grew soft. I felt like crying and stuffed $4.00 into his cup. I believe he was truly homeless and I know it may not be used how Id like, but my heart doesnt let me forget the forgotten. So I didnt.

Then, still feeling solemn, i crossed the street. To my surprise another man was waiting for me and he asked me if i had any spare money. Yikes! He must have seen me giving the man across the street money. But I still felt bad for him.

I keep most money on my debit card. This man scared me a little. I told him i didnt have anything left but change then gave him the change. I didnt really feel badly about doing it. If he misused it, i meant well. I went into the Metra Building and rode the escalator upstairs.

Then in the Metra Station I bought a ticket and sat down on the floor next to others who were waiting for the train I needed to get on. A man came by and asked all of us if we could help him buy a ticket because hr lost his ticket.

I was all out of change and didnt believe him so I didnt totally feel bad about shaking my head. Could he not have just gone back to the person he bought his ticket from and explain? I thought of buying him a ticket, but this time I didnt. But I felt bad after he left eith no ticket. Again.

So many people out there with no money, drug habits, mental illness, no love, no homes...I am a sap for them as my heart can not stand it.

On the way home at least I will be walking across the street during busy work hours.

Sometimes I think Im an empath. I cant stand the idea of need in people or animals and try to help the little I can. I see other people not being botherd and wonder how they can just ignore so easily. I wish I could do that and not feel like crying.

I have always been this way. Its very extreme. I have to mute humane society commercials and not watch them or adverisements for cries for the destitute.

And its not like I am so rich myself!
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Well-Known Member
You have a good heart. My mother volunteers at an agency that provides food, clothing, and help with getting housing. I donate clothing and money to this agency. It is a safe way to help. I hand out cards when approached. Perhaps something like this will work for you.

in a daze

Well-Known Member
I see those people when I'm downtown, on north Michigan avenue, as well. I don't give them money. I believe that there are social services for these people and to give them money enables them to continue to live their dysfunctional, unmedicated, and/or druggie lifestyle. If u really feel like you need to give them something, maybe a gift card for McDonalds or a grocery store would be better.

I'm a liberal democrat, but I think my taxes should be used to assist these people. They need more help than the average person on the street can provide. Of course, the social service agencies are suffering because of the actions of our governor and the leaders of the legislature who can't compromise on how to fund the budget for the State of Illinois, which makes me so mad , but I digress ...

From what you say about the services that your son has received I gather that Wisconsin has better services for the disabled.


Well-Known Member
Thanks in a daze. Wisconsin doesnt have good services anymore. Son got in before it got worse.
Paj, i do hope i can travel in an RV soon to a city with serious services for the poor and also for rescue dogs. These types of volunteer opportunities just dont exist where we live now. As long as we RV travel we will live in it and can hopefully park in cities that have these sort of volunteer prospects.
Thanks so much to all.


Roll With It
I completely understand how you feel. I was in Tulsa a month ago and stopped to get food. A homeless man was walking with his two dogs. It was a rainy day and I felt so bad for him. He was a very nice guy, seemed to be very well liked in the community, and clearly was a war veteran. Just a guy in his early 30's with health problems and a big rottie/pit mix and a little chihuahua/pit mix. I was having a bad day with my back and was sitting in my car to eat because my back spasmed. He actually came over to ask if I was okay and needed help. He was not a drug user that I could tell (I often can by smell, I have a hyper sense of smell), and no track marks. The dogs were total sweeties, didn't even make a grab for my food. I asked if the dogs had food because it was a rainy day. He said it had all gotten wet, so I gave him money to get some. I ran an errand and saw him coming out of the grocery store with a good size bag of dog food, so I know he actually went and got some.


Active Member
On days I'm making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my daughters lunch, I make a few extra. When I see someone at the corner holding a sign for $, I give them the PB&J sandwich and a bottle of water. So simple and inexpensive and yet I think it's comfort food. Makes me feel like I'm doing something good, something kind.


Well-Known Member
I think I would do the same, but I live in a very small city and you dont see that Chicago, i was taken by surprise.After all, although I know Chicago has a huge homeless population, i was only in Chicago long enough to walk from one building across the street to the next.

I will be better prepared next time.
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A dad

Active Member
Where I live there are services to help the homless the pay for the people to man the services are to small so its not gonna allow you to live so they go to other jobs. There is no point in helping others get out of the street if you are gonna become like them.
SO it became inefficient but to their credit our guverment passed the issue of the homless people to non profit organization who not highly succesful they do okay.
THere are solutions besides the state.