At the same time, we all share a vital obligation to make sure that members of our society do not go hungry or lack the basic necessities of life. This fundamental compassion to our fellow man is a cornerstone of our civilized way of life. Therefore, donating to a food-bank or shelter is a good idea for concerned citizens who want to ensure that their charity serves a positive end. Such a donation helps give basic sustenance to the needy while denying those who want to nourish their addictions. It is a safe way to show care for those less fortunate.
Ultimately, however, we must recognize that it will take far more than simple food handouts to solve the ever-growing problem of our homeless population. I would advise those seeking a lasting solution to this crisis to heed the wisdom of the Twelfth Century rabbi and philosopher, Moses Maimonides. He stated that the greatest level of charity is to assist a person in finding a job and to strengthen his hand until he no longer needs assistance. As the saying goes: “Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them to fish, and you feed them for life.”