I have two friends, a married couple with a ~1yr child. Shortly before they had the child, they moved in with his grandparents. The grandparents are apparently unwilling or unable to care to the child, so the father quit his job and became a stay-at-home dad (his wife's salary being higher than his).
This past weekend, when at my house for a regular get-together, the pair spoke to me and my housemates asking for help. Apparently, between the reduced income of the father quitting his job and the rent being paid to his grandparents (and the expenses of having a child), they had merely been sitting on a buffer that has been slowly dwindling, rather than getting back on their feet as was the plan when they first moved in.
I love my friends, and I would be happy to help them -- in fact, between me and another friend over the past two months, they've been given ~$300 for various reasons, from gifts to payment for assisting in a move -- but the problem is that I'm not so certain that charity is going to help them in the long run.
Despite their money troubles, the husband continues to purchase entertainment for himself, from Magic: the Gathering cards to video games. The wife isn't much better; while I don't interact with her as frequently, apparently her money mismanagement is threatening to shut a door on an opportunity the pair has with his parents which would reduce their rent and allow him to work again.
I don't want to see my friends in trouble, but I feel that charity will only put a band-aid on a much larger problem. My housemates and I discussed the issue on the following day, but we didn't come up with any resolution. (Two of my housemates are also the wife's brothers.)
The question is:
Is there some other way that I can help dig my friends out of the hole they appear to be in? Alternatively, would giving them more money be sufficient to help them?
Update: The husband does seem to be looking to do what he can; he called one of my housemates earlier today with a proposition of cleaning our house on a regular basis (presumably for pay, but I was not a part of the phone conversation). While I take the initiative as a good sign, I wonder how he plans to implement his idea; he does not have a license (and his wife uses the car to drive to work, anyway), and he still needs to care for his child. My housemate who he talked to (at the least -- likely all of us) will be having a more in-depth conversation within the week.