By giving to charity, the giver can rest knowing the money will not be used towards negative things such as drugs and alcohol. The giver can read a charity’s mission statement or see where a charity will spend its money. With the internet, it is easier to find charities in your area and research whether they are effective.
A giver’s donation will not go 100% towards a homeless person because a charity requires funds to continue. Yet, the giver can be assured their money will go towards the charity’s work, which may include supporting social workers who are educated to help homeless people, preparing safe and healthy meals for homeless people, or providing housing.
Charities vary in their approaches to helping the homeless, but overall, charities work directly with homeless people and know their needs better than the average person who comes across a beggar. Because charities work directly with a homeless person, charities can focus their efforts on specific groups of people or adapt themselves to a specific city’s context. One charity in Virginia houses LGBTQ+ youth.
Other charities focus on struggling artists, the homeless in your local area, or people of color. Because charities are organized and specific, a giver can ensure their donation is going to a cause they believe in.
Because charities are organized, they have more power to tackle homelessness both at the individual and societal level. For example, the Coalition for the Homeless in New York has a long-standing history of providing housing directly to the homeless. 
The Coalition also advocates for the homeless legally by petitioning the New York City government to invest in affordable rental housing, a solution proven to care for the homeless permanently, rather than investing in temporary care like shelters and correctional facilities.
Charities like the Coalition for the Homeless are able to promote both individual and institutional change because it is an organized entity.