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Giving money to beggars.

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Giving money to beggars.

Old 5th May 2019, 11:33
  #1 (permalink)  
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Giving money to beggars.

Passed a woman, in her mid twenties, sitting on the pavement asking for spare change. Without being judgmental, it didnít appear that there was any reason why she should need help, but then, I donít know her history and why she had resorted to begging. I wondered whether I should have offered to buy her a sandwich instead.

In a western country, I feel uncomfortable that they should be in a position where individuals have to ask for money and the fact that I usually walk by trying to pretend to myself they donít exist.

Should we be charitable and make donations or are they scroungers?
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Old 5th May 2019, 11:46
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They can make more money in a day than you or I if they have garnered a lucrative pitch. Not to mention that it is often a well organised business with a "Manager" placing beggars in the right place and moving them around to avoid over exposure and keep their mates happy.
The "Manager" takes his cut, supplies the drugs, food, booze, and accommodation. Note the use of babies, children and animals being used as a "need" conduit which doesn't require you to touch their "dirty" fingers.
Where I live, they even organise the "busing" into town and placement. There are other much more wanting people and families that need help and if you really want to see your money used wisely, you will find a way.

You will be fortunate to find one who will accept a sandwich even if they are hungry, It does not meet the requirements of the business, consequently, I will not give money to them on principle.

IG
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:12
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We have a lady locally who sits outside various Tesco Express branches, claiming to be homeless. She refuses offers of food etc, only accepting cash.
Most locals know that she is dropped off at and collected from her pitches by her local estate agent boyfriend with whom she shares a flat locally, but she still seems to attract donations.
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:20
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Originally Posted by BehindBlueEyes View Post
Should we be charitable and make donations or are they scroungers?
Thing is you can't tell by looking at them whether they are scroungers, or genuinely in need, or collecting for their next heroin fix.

If you have an effective local donation system (run by the local authority and/or charities and/or students) it's usually recommended that you give to them rather than direct to the beggars, that way what you give is (when they get it right) better targeted.
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:21
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You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Kahlil Gibran

​​​​​​​Kahlil Gibran on Giving
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:31
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Some years back travelling on the London tube, a young man appeared in the carriage looking a bit downtrodden. He stood at one end of the carriage and started to make a very emotional plea for help with funding a bed for the night. He was in tears at one point expressing his shame at having to ask people for help and begging us not to judge him as a drug addict or criminal.

He looked like a genuine case of hardship and I was moved by his rhetoric. I and quite a few others in the carriage gave him what we could.

I still think of that incident and wonder what happened to him. Unlike the young women thrusting a baby and a note in your face on nearly every tube journey taken around that time. Should I question my own motives to help one and not the other?
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:41
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I would prefer a hundred times over to give to someone not in need than to fail to help a person in need.
It's never a lot that I give but anyone begging must be in a hard place, however it came about and whatever their reason.
Please speak as you hand over what you can, look them in the eye and treat them as a fellow human being.
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:45
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One of the other reasons I ask is because of this:

The cathedral city where my sister lives (Novichok being the clue) had a very nominal issue with homelessness and begging until a well meaning bishop offered free board and lodging to the small group. Word got around and now there is a substantially bigger number of beggars on the streets - many of whom are clearly not from the area, judging by the regional accents.

I have this dilemma as pretty much the majority I see asking for help are younger people. I wouldn’t hesitate to give to an older man or woman as they are clearly more vulnerable, but are the young any less deserving?




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Old 5th May 2019, 13:12
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Originally Posted by Cpt_Pugwash View Post
We have a lady locally who sits outside various Tesco Express branches, claiming to be homeless. She refuses offers of food etc, only accepting cash.
Most locals know that she is dropped off at and collected from her pitches by her local estate agent boyfriend with whom she shares a flat locally, but she still seems to attract donations.
This sound remarkably similar to a woman that has approached me three or four times on the same street in London. Either outside or just a few minutes walk from Tesco Express. She claims to be stranded and needing money to get back home if I recall...She even has the sad eyes perfected and was certainly quite convincing the first time I encountered her because I gave a few pounds. The next time she tried...I felt quite angry and a bit embarrassed for being taken in the first time.
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Old 5th May 2019, 13:48
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Originally Posted by NineEighteen View Post
This sound remarkably similar to a woman that has approached me three or four times on the same street in London. Either outside or just a few minutes walk from Tesco Express. She claims to be stranded and needing money to get back home if I recall...She even has the sad eyes perfected and was certainly quite convincing the first time I encountered her because I gave a few pounds. The next time she tried...I felt quite angry and a bit embarrassed for being taken in the first time.
This rings a bell. We were approached one evening in a local car park, by a very smartly dressed woman crying her eyes out saying she had lost her handbag and her phone was out of charge and could we give her £10 for a taxi home. She said she worked at a local florists shop and if we went in the following day, she would ensure we were recompensed. I offered to call a family member for her but Mrs BBE smelt a rat and accused her of a scam. I must admit I was shocked by my wifeís assertiveness but it seemed to have an interesting effect as said woman walked away without a backward glance.

I read in our local newspaper soon afterwards that this was indeed a scam, the florists had never heard of her and many others had been duped.
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Old 5th May 2019, 14:39
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Women DON'T lose their handbags.
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Old 5th May 2019, 15:29
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Personally I do not give anymore. We pay our taxes and the really genuine cases can claim help from the state authorities, who will even arrange housing or other shelter. In this day and age there is no need to beg. If they are on drugs they will spend on drugs, if they are jobless there is a way to get money. I believe that a lot of beggars are so called 'organised professionals'. Hard I know.
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Old 5th May 2019, 15:41
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If you really want to help the "downtrodden", a dollar/pound/euro given to an organization which deals with them, like the Sally Ann, will do a lot more good.
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Old 5th May 2019, 15:59
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I was also approached at lunch time in Croydon a couple of years ago by a well dressed middle aged lady with some sob story - she approached me again at 5pm in a different road... "As I said to you four hours ago..."

Well dressed and spoken youngish bloke on the train at 5pm several months ago "my friend's let me down, nowhere to stay tonight (brave sob!) and it's FREEEEEZING out there." Actually it was relatively warm, about 10 degrees all night, I know 'cos I later missed a last connection and ended up walking home a fair way after midnight. Seen it a few times, yet they get on the train OK, presumably use stations where there's no barrier (Purley Oaks for example) and avoid the inspectors.

The there was the guy while I was buying a rail ticket from a machine at East Croydon, on his phone, "I need to get where?, Tottenham, I aint got enough cash..." To me, "'scuse me bruv, can you 'elp wiv a cuppla quid, chance of some work at Tottenham..." Me: "that's the third time you've asked me in the last couple of months..."
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Old 5th May 2019, 16:48
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Old 5th May 2019, 17:17
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Once whilst a student at Oxford Poly I gave money to a beggar only to see him in the same queue as me in a local off licence 30 minutes later. I also dealt with a 'homeless' beggar whose dog had bitten a PCSO and after charging him and getting his dog from a kennel he asked me for a lift back to his flat. He would go out begging with all the props which would suggest that he was homeless such as a rucksack and sleeping bag. I also read a story in our local rag about a homeless women who was forced to beg after being thrown out of her flat by her ex partner months earlier, which was strange as when I had dealt with her as a victim of crime she had a flat and a boyfriend.

Despite my examples of cynical people using begging as a way to earn money I am also sure that the numbers of genuinely homeless have increased markedly in the last few years as I see a lot more people sleeping rough now than I used to. Its a shame that other people take advantage of what is a genuine problem for a small minority of people.
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Old 5th May 2019, 17:19
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We have a couple of young girls, they sit in the High Steet, their packed lunches out of sight.
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Old 5th May 2019, 19:00
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Old 5th May 2019, 19:10
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This is simple, just don't give them money.
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Old 5th May 2019, 19:25
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Here in New Zealand Tauranga City Council passed a bylaw in November last year banning begging
and rough sleeping near retail and hospitality premises.The bylaw took effect from Monday 1st April,
giving officers the power to impose fines for people who are found sleeping or begging within five metres of a
shop front in the central business district.
Tauranga's Mayor Greg Brownless says beggars and rough sleepers put off customers from going into stores,
which was damaging an already struggling industry.It was important to stand up for people who work for a living,
Greg says."Retail isn't a big money spinner now, especially for people in the CBD which is quite quiet anyway,
they are having customers who are put off from going into their shops."At some stage you have to stick up for
the people who are actually paying their ways" he says.

https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/204199-tauranga-begging-bylaw-starts-tomorrow.html

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