There is sometimes a fine line between someone sharing a craft or skill for money and someone trying to take you for money.
The other day I was walking into Sprouts and there was a man outside playing an accordion. At first I could not believe my ears and eyes. He was sharing his skills and craft in a public parking lot and, yes, he had a sign and was asking for money.
I usually do not give money to those outside the grocery stores but for this man I made an exception. Maybe I was caught off guard or maybe I felt generous this day. But I did rationalize it by thinking this man has a skill and is performing hence earned something by bringing a smile to my face. He entertained me.
I believe this is different from a generic person asking for money and just sitting there waiting for handouts. This man was performing and sharing his skill and asking for a donation. Whatever brought him to this point in his life to have to be in a parking lot playing an instrument is unknown to me.
The least I could do in this particular instance was appreciate the moment and be human.