Attorney Tom Riney works downtown, and like a lot of us, he will on occasion cross paths with a street person. As I wrote about in a column last week, when we're confronted with a request for money or a ride, we often don't know what the right thing is to do.
But two directors of downtown shelters said the best thing to do is not give them money, but offer to direct them or call one of the shelters and they will help them. Makes a lot of sense.
Last week, Riney said he was downtown and saw a street person talking to a businessman, and then eventually made his way to Riney. Taking the advice of Jena Taylor of Faith City Mission and Major Tim Grider of the Salvation Army, he said he couldn't give him money, but would be glad to call one of those places to get him some help.
The man basically mumbled thanks, but no thanks. As Riney said, that response told him what he needed to know. That the man didn't so much need help as he needed money to fund whatever bad habit he had going on.
"That's the best advice I've ever received on how to handle those situations," Riney said.