Originally Posted by Aziaf
I think directing them to a mosque may help determine whether or not the beggars are sincere. If they really need help, it would seem unlikely that they would stop short of going to a mosque as you direct them. However, I do not think it is possible to know for sure if they are truly needy unless you saw firsthand how they are living.
Furthermore, here are some Quranic verses that are certainly relevant:
If you give alms openly, it is well; but if you do it secretly and give to the poor, that is better. This will absolve you of some of your sins; and God is cognisant of all you do.
It is not for you to guide them: God guides whom He will. Whatever you spend you will do so for yourself, for you will do so to seek the way that leads to God; and what you spend in charity you will get back in full, and no wrong will be done to you.
(Give to) the needy who are engaged in the service of God who are not able to move about in the land, whom the ignorant consider to be affluent as they refrain from asking. You can know them from their faces for they do not ask of men importunately. God is surely cognisant of good things that you spend.
Here it says that abstaining from persistent begging is a characteristic of poor individuals who are sincere and truly in need of help, but does not say that open begging denotes dishonesty. As said above, you cannot know for sure if the people coming to your door for money are or are not truly needy, but your decision to direct them to a mosque does not at all hurt. It is better than giving money yourself in that your advice alone can be considered as help for the needy.:) Again, use your judgment in this matter.