How do I feel about them? Or what do I think of them? Two very different things....
I think that each tells their own story, and that most of us would be shocked to know about their lives before they became homeless. They weren't born on the streets...they had lives like the rest of us - but something happened that landed them in their current situation. It could have been financial, emotional, psychological - it may have been their own fault, or not...the possibilities are endless.
How I feel about them is a combination of frustration and anger toward those with the power to make changes to our system that would eliminate their need to be living on the street, and a sense of compassion...as I know that there but for the Grace of God go I...
As for giving them food versus money - thats a nice sentiment, but wholly disrespectful to the person. We want to help, we say - but we assume that its food they need the most? How can we know that? Perhaps they are alcoholics, and what they desperately want or need is a drink. Its not for me to decide that they should get food instead of a drink. I know that it would be better for their health, but unless I am going to follow through and make sure that their health is completely cared for, its a little hypocritical of me to decide what is most healthy for them - at that moment.
For many, what is required is a little (or alot of) respect. Recognition that they are people, and not some annoyance or disgrace to a landscape.