An eye-opening experience. I'm one of those guys who feels terribly guilty walking by homeless people on the street and totally ignoring them. And since I live near DC, there is an abundance of them on the streets where I hang out. I've always found the "They'll just use the money to buy booze" argument to be rather shallow and unfair, but an incident today has caused me to reconsider. My friend and I were hanging out in a downtown area of or in DC (not really sure), exploring various building and rooftops and perusing shops and stuff. We were walking along and I had to go to the bathroom, and spotted a row of porta-pottys (we could have gone inside a building, admittedly, but there wasn't one especially close that looked like it had a bathroom I could use). When I walked out, my friend was talking to a black guy who was pretty obviously homeless (many many coats, unshaven, lots of trinkets, etc). My friend had handed the guy a couple of bucks, because the guy said he was trying to get a hamburger. I'm wearing this T-Shirt with a really cool looking gorilla insignia on it, and was wearing it then, too. As I walked over, he pointed to my shirt and started talking about how cool the gorilla was. He seemed really into it, reeling off this long story about how he'd grown up in Kenya and had come face to face with a gorilla one time. He seemed pretty cool, and since I was wearing two shirts anyway (slash because I was kind of affected by the whole thing :hanky: ) I offered it to him. At first he looked at me kind of uncomprehendingly, which is when I first sort of started to suspect something was up. He proceeded to tell me that he would trade me for it, and started taking off jackets. He got down to a leather one which was in pretty good condition and offered it to me. It fit me rather well, actually. Up until now, I'd seen no reason not to trust the guy. Right then, he said "Tell you what, I'll trade you the jacket for the shirt and 10 bucks." Suddenly the whole situation became very awkward, as I realized he didn't really want the shirt anyway. I had made it very, very clear that he could have the shirt, no big deal (it was 5 dollars at Target, and was easily replacable). There was no reason for him to drag this "trade" offer into it, except to get more money. Shirts don't buy booze, but money does. I wasn't thinking that at the time, but when I told him I didn't have any more cash (which was true) and reiterated that he could have the shirt for free, he leaned in closer to show me how a gorilla would size me up, and he absolutely reeked of alcohol. His eyes were much more noticably drunk up close, too. My friend and I walked away fairly quickly after that, and Metro'd home. The thing is, if I'd had the money I would have just given it to him, sans the whole shirt deal. But maybe I shouldn't have. I will continue to give money to people on the street, and in fact did today after said incident, but now I know for a fact that some people are just looking for booze-money. Maybe I should just volunteer in a soup kitchen or something. *sigh* Thanks for reading, I guess.