There But For...
I don’t give money to homeless people on the street. It doesn’t help anyone.
There’s at least one shelter in Kansas City that offers a bed and a meal to every sober person who can make it to the facility by 6:00 pm. There’s no cost or obligation. Destitute individuals and families seeking an additional assistance can rebuild their lives in reStart’s residence halls.
reStart isn't the Marriott, but it’s surely better than the streets for anyone with a desire to improve their lot. (I'm no expert- what little I know about reStart is based on my community of faith’s contribution to the charity and on a one-hour tour I’ve taken of the facility.)
I suspect that most homeless people already know about beacons like reStart and prefer life in the gutter. This scamp in Santa Monica passes out to the lulling sound of the surf and awakens to generous tourists at his feet. Being down-and-out in Kansas City can't be that nice.
Instead of handing that guy on the corner a dollar, please consider offering him a cab ride down to 9th and Harrison.