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Street Beggars- should we give them money? Watch

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    I'm doing an article on street beggars and just wondering what your thoughts are on these people and would you give them money? Also what area do you live in? I live in zone 1, London - beggars are almost everywhere.

    3 beggars have come up to me within a week, going around asking strangers individually for money.
    For those that live in London, don't you feel that there is more of these people about?
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    Nope. Most of the charities working with homeless people explicitly tell you not to do it: http://www.thamesreach.org.uk/news-a...ng-to-beggars/

    It's very rare that someone ends up begging on the street without making some very bad life choices. Either that, or they're not actually homeless at all - many beggars are simply there to exploit peoples' kindness (London is particularly bad for this apparently). So what are the chances that the money you give them directly will be spent wisely?

    If you want to help out homeless people, the best thing to do is donate to the charities set up to assist them. Better to leave it to the professionals to help homeless people back onto the right track, instead of potentially making the problem worse by enabling bad behaviour.
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    I give some beggars money because I detest carrying change. But it is highly dependant on mood.
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    A while back before Christmas, my dad and I were in London late walking towards Charing Cross. On the way there we crossed the area of St Martins in the Fields; for you who do not know, it's one of the busiest homeless charities in London. It was about 11pm at this time and there were some poor people sleeping outside, and my dad told me it's sad because often you see these massive queues coming out of the building as people are desperate to sleep somewhere and have food, but there aren't enough spaces. My dad never gives money to beggars on the streets, as you aren't sure they are real beggars, but he said you could pretty much be sure tthe ones sleeping outside the centre (as they weren't offered a space) were actually homeless.

    I don't agree with giving money to beggars, I'd rather give them food, a hot drink, or mittens or something. As we were walking by I watched people leaving food to those sleeping by the sides and talking to them. It was moving.

    I'm not here to judge why people ended up in the streets. Some people have very tragic life stories, and sometimes it happens unexpectedly. Homelessness isn't like it was before - nowadays, normal people with jobs can end up homeless because of high rents etc. especially because of the recession. I am however a kind person and want to provide comfort to someone without judging what's happened to them. No matter what decisions a person makes, they do not deserve to starve and they deserve to be treated decently. That's why I'm all for giving food/items to people who you can almost be certain be beggars (as explained before) but not money (explained by @Dez)
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    No I give my money to the organisations that help them. This way I'm giving money that actually helps rather than maybe doing so by giving directly since these people maybe begging to buy drugs.
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    Better to give them food and water so at least you're guaranteeing it's going towards their needs
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    nope
    homeless people are homeless because they are terrible people
    terrible, deceptive, manipulative, machiavellian, scheming people, usually lazy and drug-addicted, who've been abandoned by all their friends and families in life because of just how dreadful and disgraceful they are as human beings
    if they weren't so appalling then their friends and family would have helped them through their hard times, surely. but if they are without *anybody* then that just goes to show the extent of how terrible these insects really are
    no kind, sweet, generous person becomes homeless in the UK. nah. if you're homeless, you are not going to be the kind of benevolent, self-disciplined, hard working individual that some people might ascribe them as qualities
    Holy ****. I thought at first this was sarcasm, then I read the username...that's a new low, even for you.
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    (Original post by yudothis)
    Holy ****. I thought at first this was sarcasm, then I read the username...that's a new low, even for you.
    let's say I have more experience with this than you do. I know people who've become homeless, and I've known *exactly* why. and the "terrible, horrible" things homeless do to become homeless? it's partly happened to *me* from one of them.

    so don't be so naive about the existence of homelessness in the UK in 2017. you think people like me are like this because we're horrible? no. we're like this because we know better.
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    I do, but not just cash. I usually go in the shop with them and buy them food.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    It's very rare that someone ends up begging on the street without making some very bad life choices.
    I don't think anyone disputes that there is a high likelihood that someone who is homeless has made some bad life choices, and nor do I see why this ought to disqualify them from receiving charitable acts of kindness to help them survive.

    Either that, or they're not actually homeless at all - many beggars are simply there to exploit peoples' kindness (London is particularly bad for this apparently).
    You're telling me the dirty-looking (no offence intended) people I see with sleeping bags on door-stops in the freezing cold of a Winter evening are actors?

    Firstly, I don't believe that for a second, and secondly, if they are actors then they deserve my money for their incredible performance.
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    I usually buy them food if I have spare change.
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    I don't give them money because I want to keep it for myself but I don't think there is anything wrong with doing so. They are not children, they are adults capable of making their own decisions. If I was going to give them anything, it would be money or alcohol. At least you can be sure they are getting something they actually want.

    Most homeless ended up that way because they are ****ed up people. I'm not a believer that it can happen to anyone. They have made terrible decisions and have been incapable to maintain their relationships. If you managed to get yourself into that situation in the first place, you are very unlikely to be equipped to get yourself out of it. I believe that most of them are lost causes. I don't know the statistics but what percentage of people who have been sleeping rough for over a year will ever be functioning members of society again? It must be tiny. If they were functioning people, they wouldn't have ended up in the situation they are in. Most of them have given up on themselves and are just passing time until they die. I don't see anything wrong with helping them to pass that time with drugs or alcohol.

    I would never give to a homeless charity. Of course they tell you to donate money to them instead. That way they can cream off 50% of it for their own salaries.
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    (Original post by Palmyra)
    I don't think anyone disputes that there is a high likelihood that someone who is homeless has made some bad life choices, and nor do I see why this ought to disqualify them from receiving charitable acts of kindness to help them survive.
    I agree, which is why I mentioned supporting homeless charities. Money can only take you so far, homeless people often need more than that - support, advice and safety/security.

    (Original post by Palmyra)
    You're telling me the dirty-looking (no offence intended) people I see with sleeping bags on door-stops in the freezing cold of a Winter evening are actors?

    Firstly, I don't believe that for a second, and secondly, if they are actors then they deserve my money for their incredible performance.
    No, I'm saying the guy begging/harassing every passer-by on the local high street may be begging simply for some easy cash, rather than because they're actually destitute and/or homeless. There is a difference between being homeless and being a beggar, even if there is some overlap between the two groups. I would not presume to know the life story of every beggar I see, but as I've already explained giving money to them is a bad idea regardless since even if they are homeless, it can end up doing more harm than good.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    I agree, which is why I mentioned supporting homeless charities. Money can only take you so far, homeless people often need more than that - support, advice and safety/security.
    In the short term the money/food will help more than a tax deductible donation to a charity.

    No, I'm saying the guy begging/harassing every passer-by on the local high street may be begging simply for some easy cash, rather than because they're actually destitute and/or homeless. There is a difference between being homeless and being a beggar, even if there is some overlap between the two groups. I would not presume to know the life story of every beggar I see, but as I've already explained giving money to them is a bad idea regardless since even if they are homeless, it can end up doing more harm than good.
    Right, but I don't see any need to conflate the two.

    EDIT: My apologies, the OP is about "street beggars" and not homeless people...
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    I used to give change but after reading this thread I guess I'll stop. Food seems like a better idea.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    let's say I have more experience with this than you do. I know people who've become homeless, and I've known *exactly* why. and the "terrible, horrible" things homeless do to become homeless? it's partly happened to *me* from one of them.

    so don't be so naive about the existence of homelessness in the UK in 2017. you think people like me are like this because we're horrible? no. we're like this because we know better.
    That's a harsh generalisation. The are hundreds of reasons why people become homeless and not always because they have been horrid people. There is always a reason people start using drugs, yes just for fun sometimes but more often to cope with a **** hand in life. I have experience with working with homeless and I disagree wholeheartedly with your generalisation, you've experienced homeless people but I dare say not every homeless person, if people make bad decisions, should they penalised for the rest of their lives? Everybody needs a helping hand even if it's from a stranger, at least once in their lives.


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    (Original post by KingLhasaApso)
    That's a harsh generalisation. The are hundreds of reasons why people become homeless and not always because they have been horrid people. There is always a reason people start using drugs, yes just for fun sometimes but more often to cope with a **** hand in life. I have experience with working with homeless and I disagree wholeheartedly with your generalisation, you've experienced homeless people but I dare say not every homeless person, if people make bad decisions, should they penalised for the rest of their lives? Everybody needs a helping hand even if it's from a stranger, at least once in their lives.


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    ohh reaaaaaally. :lol:
    okay then. tell me why these homeless people you worked with were homeless.
    and even if it wasn't based on terrible life choices, they probably lied to you about the reasons they became homeless anyway
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    (Original post by Bloody Stupid)
    I'm doing an article on street beggars and just wondering what your thoughts are on these people and would you give them money? Also what area do you live in? I live in zone 1, London - beggars are almost everywhere.

    3 beggars have come up to me within a week, going around asking strangers individually for money.
    For those that live in London, don't you feel that there is more of these people about?
    I read that in Amsterdam, someone has created a prototype of a coat that will allow passers by to use their contactless credit cards to donate money to the homeless. The homeless person gets a jacket to keep them warm, obviously, and because many people don't carry small change anymore, and there is a worry surrounding giving to the homeless people that they may spend it on the wrong things. The jacket allows you donate 1 Euro only, and the homeless person can only redeem the money in an 'official' centre for the homeless in the form of food, warmth, socks, something like that.

    I think this is a really good idea and although I don't really mind giving to the those begging (if they're begging on the street.. if they're homeless or not, they clearly need money/help)

    Homeless people need money... I've heard they often need it more than food as they can often get that easily.

    Here's Jonathan Pie (the comedian news reporter) on the subject:



    (heres the article: https://www.indy100.com/article/amst...eless-7505446\ )
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    (Original post by Palmyra)
    In the short term the money/food will help more than a tax deductible donation to a charity.
    I don't agree with that, and nor do the homeless charities. Though of course they stand to benefit from the donations so arguably their intentions aren't entirely transparent.

    BTW charity donations aren't tax deductible if you use gift aid.
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    (Original post by Bloody Stupid)
    I'm doing an article on street beggars and just wondering what your thoughts are on these people and would you give them money? Also what area do you live in? I live in zone 1, London - beggars are almost everywhere.

    3 beggars have come up to me within a week, going around asking strangers individually for money.
    For those that live in London, don't you feel that there is more of these people about?
    It would be impossible to give every beggar money... if you see a beggar and you have spare change and you fancy giving it to them then do it. There is nothing wrong with that. When I give a beggar money tbh I don't really care what they spend it on even if it is drugs. Giving them no money isn't going to make them better, that's a decision they have to make themselves to get help (if they can do either).

    I feel really guilty every time I say no to a beggar, which is the majority of the time, but I am a student and have a negative bank balance.

    Maybe some people think it's better to donate to charities that help them but I think just do what you like. People say it's wrong to give to beggars just because it alleviates their guilt. They are humans too and they've probably had a much *****er life than you and if you had walked the same path that they have then maybe you would be on the street too, potentially with the illness of addiction. They are the same as us you are not better than them.

    Maybe I think differently because I have a close family member who was afflicted with addiction and if they didn't have someone with the means to support them then they would've ended up on the streets too.
 
 
 
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