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      Should You Help The Homeless?

      There's an eye-opening perspective when it comes to Tulsa's homeless population.

      One theory is that our generosity is contributing to the growth of homeless camps.

      Rev. Steve Whitaker of the John 3:16 mission says Tulsans may be making it too easy for people to stay on the street.

      With successful panhandling and food donations on the street, they can avoid facing their problems and getting real help.

      "Handing out food willy-nilly in the downtown area is absolutely not the most compassionate and caring thing," Whitaker says. "It does not take into account what is the best thing for our community. In fact, downtown business owners that have to deal sometimes with the homeless people that congregate that do unsavory things in the area because people are giving them all the help that they need," Whitaker says.

      Whitaker says all the relief groups need to coordinate their work.

      People's needs can be met and they can work on changing lives.

      So Whitaker says do not help the homeless by allowing them to stay on the streets. He says we need to get them engaged with groups that will help them get their lives back on track.

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