On my walk from the bus to the office, there is a man who stands on the corner, smoking a cigarette, with a sign asking for money. He is there every morning, and he never makes eye contact, even when I smile and I'm ready to say hello.
I don't give money to people on the street. I feel the impulse, but I have seen too much of the damage wrought by drugs and alcohol, and the thought of my money contributing to that makes me sick to my stomach.
I do try to smile and make eye contact and say, "sorry," when someone asks me for money.
On my walk up the street from the office in the other direction, there is another man who stands on the corner, asking for money. He is there every day, and he asked me for money a few times, but I smiled and said sorry and we had a brief conversation instead. Now he just reaches out to shake my hand and say hello.
I think I might have to buy him coffee soon and have a real chat.