In my job, I rub shoulders w/ the very poor on a daily basis. I will often get "panhandled" by clients sayiing they need bus money or food or medicine. I dont give cash. I have bought food, asked DR friends for samples and purchased bus tickets, but never money. Once I fed a homeless women who was just a wreck. She ate two cups of soup, 3 slices of pizza and coffee our first lunch together. I also saw her slip the last piece of pizza in her pants to take with her. I wound up having lunch w/ her once a week for about 3 yrs. One winter, she dissapeared. After a week or two, I sougfht out a local beat cop and asked him about her. He said she froze to death under an overpass. They had found her just "yesterday" was his comment. I used my connections, got a hold of the medical examiner and found out she would be cremated as homeless. I took up a collection at work and we had her buried. In a twist of irony, she had an obit in the paper paid for by a family member. the obit said she was loved by "dozens" of friends and family. Soo, where were they while I was feeding her? This stuff can drive you crazy.
and yes, stealing is the lowest form of crime. It is unfortunetely too easy for many.