Gee, the homeless we saw during the war, mid-1940's, were a mixed bag. We called them 'bums'.
They'd knock on your back door and offer to pile wood for a meal.
My mom accepted one man, and he sat to lunch with us. It was a plain lunch, I know, but he asked for jam. (We kids never had jam!) But my mom found some syrup for him.
Another lady made a pile of chicken sandwiches for a fellow who was begging at her back door. Then she got to watch from her kitchen window as he opened them, smelled them, chucked them in her garbage can, and went on to the house next door.
There is a lot of competition for the cushiest garbage cans, that's the only reason they are at it at 4 in the morning. I know because I am in the business. We collect from commercial establishments who are glad to have us for our regularity and tidiness.
Street people are not tidy.
You bet we'd help anyone who was truly needy, in a heartbeat...and we have. But the fellow who is only funding his next drink is beyond the scope of our abilities.
The way to tell is to go to a recycling depot, and watch the attitudes of the people who show up. You'll see all kinds. It's quite an education.
There have always been those who take advantage, I think.
There was the rag-man who used to travel the alleys with his horse and wagon..."Rags, bottles," he'd call.
At least he wasn't knocking on doors. We kids wondered about him for years.
Just a guess, the truly needy would be attracted by the word, 'peace', wouldn't they? But maybe not to bottles and cans, and not at 4 in the morning.