Re: To Give or Not to Give
Originally Posted by keezoy
You know the story. Some sit on the sidewalks with little placards asking for money. Others approach you in the street with their hand out and the rest just lie, corpse-like in a grubby bundle or just sit staring into space. When I was in London on a cold winter's day in a tunnel near the Tower
GIve or not give?
Most definitely DO NOT give these people money.
It may seem charitable, humane and right but it isn't.
All you are doing is handing that person a stash of drugs to make themselves worse than they are.
This is a harsh reality people need to see and understand. These people are on the street to beg for money to pay for drink and drugs. Simple as.
Buying them more and more drink/drugs doesn't help them in any way. It merely keeps them in that lifestyle and makes matters worse.
They wouldn't be on the street if people weren't so naïve and ignorant of this truth. The sooner we all see it the sooner these people will have to go for rehab and get themselves clean.
That's what is needed.
Also make no mistake about their food and drink. Many of these street people eat better than you. I kid you not.
They go to support centres in the city where they get a free breakfast, a free lunch, free evening meal and drinks all the way. In between those food visits they go back on the street to beg for money to fuel their drink/drug habits.
Don't let this come over as judgemental or inhumane. I have worked alongside these people, cooked and fed them fantastic meals every week. I care about them, but exposure to the front line showed me that it's all a nonsense and that they totally abuse any donations you give them.
Give them cash and it goes straight to their next drug fix
Give them a jumper or scarf or gloves and they will say thanks but hop down to the local market and sell them instantly for a few quid to go towards drink and drugs.
Every year in my city at Christmas a charity is sent bags and bags of clothing as the naïve and ignorant public appease their consciences thinking they are doing something good by giving a "homeless" person warm clothing over the horrible cold winter months. Each day the charity lets homeless people into a prepared room stack to the ceiling with donated clothing. They get 10mins in the room a day and can pick a few items.
The room is constantly used and the people pick the newest and best items and just go to the local market and sell them for cash.
THIS IS the reality.
Appeasing your conscience with silly donations of clothing or the disastrous giving of cash directly to the person is helping nobody and solving nothing.
These people need rehab
Everything else is prolonging their illness and keeping them on the streets. In fact the public's total naivety in regards to this has actually created a very lucrative lifestyle for street people who have found a life where they don't need to work, can claim benefits and can beg on the streets and get cash from stupid members of the public. They live a life of drink and drugs and spend the day duping the public after which they go off to their provided accommodation (which many have) or else go to their safe secret place on the streets.
This is a harsh world and a harsh reality. We want to help these people and feel a sense of desperation for them. But giving cash is always making their situation worse and is no different to actually giving them a bag of drugs.
Steer these people to support centres where they can engage properly and get on the path to rehab and recovery.
Find out where the centres are in your city, create a street map with those centres clearly marked on it and print out lots of copies in the form of leaflets and hand those to any street person you come across. Encourage them to go there and let them know they will get food and drink and clothing.
By all means by them a coffee and something to eat if you think they need it but be aware that the vast majority of people who are of a like mind are doing that every 5 mins of the day.
A final warning.
Whilst parked in a shopping precinct car park I watched a guy sitting right outside the Costa Coffee shop ( coffee shops are prime spots for these people to con the public)
He sat against the wall with his legs huddled up to his chest and had a blanket over him.
He looked cold and desperate and needy (exactly how he wanted to look).
As the droves of public walked into Costa for their morning lattes they would either hand this guy cash or come out with a latte they had bought for him. He was doing a roaring trade.
However what I noticed as I watched from my car was that as soon as the public had walked away, he reached under his blanket where there was a 4 pack of strong beer and took a good sip before the next mug arrived.
The guy wasn't the least bit interested in coffees people were buying him. He was there to get cash from the more naïve and had absolutely no intention of changing his lifestyle. He sits there most mornings earning a tidy crust to fuel his alcoholism.
Giving cash does not help, it harms.
The only solution, the only way to help these people is to get them to rehab and that's not something the public can do.
Find a good support centre that does put people into rehab and give them your cash.