He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. (Proverbs 14:31)
The text is clear; we honor God by showing mercy to those in need. We dishonor Him by restraining the poor in their poverty. The best thing we can do to extricate the impoverished from their poverty is to not only supply opportunity, but to instruct them in the ways that prosper. Feeding and housing the poor alone can lock them in their state, especially if they have to remain below a certain income. This is oppression. There is to be no shame in being poor. There is shame in remaining in poverty when there is a clear way out. Those who have been blessed with skills, giftedness or wealth honor God by reaching out to those with the potential to achieve all that God has for them. To give alms to the poor without a helping hand is more than often just a financial way to satisfy the conscience. It most likely has little to do with showing mercy.