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Do you give money to homeless people?

(36 Posts)
Confused2015xxx Sat 05-Dec-15 13:07:54

There is a man who sits in town every day about 30.
He looks freezing.
Would you give him money?
I want to but then I'm scared in case he thinks I'm being cheeky or uses it for drugs.
Should I buy him a hot drink and a sandwich instead?
What would you do?

ohjessie Sat 05-Dec-15 13:11:44

Does he have a 'collecting bowl' or anything?
If you want to buy him food I would ask him what he wants.
I have no problem giving money to homeless people, it's up to them what they want to spend it on

expatinscotland Sat 05-Dec-15 13:12:36

No, because I don't have money to spare.

IoraRua Sat 05-Dec-15 13:17:26

No, I don't - I give to homeless charities (but not to a chugger). I'd rather that my money was put to good use instead of possibly going to a begging ring or drugs.

BrandNewAndImproved Sat 05-Dec-15 13:19:02

Well I normally buy them a greggs if they're sat about in town.

I don't give money to anyone who asks me unless they look particularly desperate. I'd much rather buy them hot food and a hot drink.

Earlybird Sat 05-Dec-15 13:21:11

Yes, but never directly. I give to charities that support the homeless, but never give directly to an individual. That way, I know the money hasn't been used for drink/drugs, etc.

Also, sad to say that many homeless are mentally ill / addicted / etc., so would rather not make myself vulnerable via direct personal contact. Better to let the professionals assist in ways that would be most helpful.

BrandNewAndImproved Sat 05-Dec-15 13:31:34

I've been told the worst thing about being homeless on the streets is that no-one will look at you or talk to you. Your completely invisible and separate.

I always try to buy food and a hot drink especially in winter and speak to whoever it is for a few minutes. If I did give them any money I wouldn't care how they spent it. If I was sleeping rough I'd want something to make me forget about my shitty life to.

ClashCityRocker Sat 05-Dec-15 13:32:55

No, not anymore. I will buy a hot drink if it's a cold day or give them some cigs.

I spent a while living in homeless hostels and the ironic thing is, purely in financial terms, technically I had more spare money than when I had a flat.

Some of the other residents used to beg, but there wasn't a need for them to beg - they were receiving the same benefits as any single adult claimant was entitled to, except they didn't have to pay gas, electric, water, tv and most went to the drop in centre for breakfast and soup and sandwich wagon for tea. It was a pretty fucking miserable existence, but the basic needs were met.

For me, the worst thing was being kicked out at 8am and not allowed back until 8.30 pm...its a long day when it's cold and miserable. To be honest getting pissed/trashed was the only way to get through it, so that's where most of mine and other people's money went.

Pixa Sat 05-Dec-15 13:37:22

We give a hot drink and hot food. We never usually give money. We offer to phone a homeless charity for them too, just in case they've never made that connection.

LaurieLemons Sat 05-Dec-15 13:37:58

I think it's best to buy them a hot drink/sandwich. I normally give to the Christmas charity for homeless. I have given money before and it was greatly appreciated, I don't regret it.

ClashCityRocker Sat 05-Dec-15 13:38:44

And it must be much worse if they don't even have a hostel to go to. We're fortunate in that our city does have quite good provision for the homeless.

tethersend Sat 05-Dec-15 13:43:03

"I have no problem giving money to homeless people, it's up to them what they want to spend it on"

Agree completely with this.

Once I've given them money, it's no longer mine and I no longer have a say what it's spent on. Which is as it should be.

pullofthemoon Sat 05-Dec-15 13:44:45

I used to hate people talking to me when I was on the street to be honest. Mind you I never really begged.

expatinscotland Sat 05-Dec-15 13:45:24

They must be swimming in hot drinks with all the MNers who do this.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 05-Dec-15 13:47:04

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. Sometimes I buy the Big Issue, sometimes I don't.
A lot depends on how I feel on the day, which isn't at all fair on the people who I see; but that's how it goes. I did think one time of buying them sandwiches, but then if they need money for the hostel instead, then sandwiches aren't going to help get them in, are they. (Australia - that's what they say on their signs)

HappyHippyChick Sat 05-Dec-15 13:50:15

"I have no problem giving money to homeless people, it's up to them what they want to spend it on"

Agree completely with this.

Once I've given them money, it's no longer mine and I no longer have a say what it's spent on. Which is as it should be.

^^ This. If someone asks me, I give it to them, with no caveats on what they do with it, and regardless if they really need it or are going home to a massive mansion every night. That is on their conscience. Not giving something to someone who truly needed it because I judged them would be on mine.

Artandco Sat 05-Dec-15 13:55:09

I give them some food/ drink/ warm socks, then contact the homeless charity ' no second night out', they will then send someone to area to try and find them and offer help and a roof

Junoandthepeacock Sat 05-Dec-15 13:56:59

I would urge you all to even give the time of day to a homeless person. To be sat begging is the most humiliating thing I have ever had to endure.

You are invisible.
People walk by.
Push their trolley wheeley bag things over your feet. Call you a beggar. Or they look at you as if to say 'get up and get a job'.

Believe me, if you've fallen into the trap of homelessness, you can not just rock up to a job interview. It is soul-destroying to be homeless. And it is utterly uplifting to be given even 5 cents.

One little old lady obviously had a little thing going on. She gave me a cigarette wrapped in a little plastic bag, two mints and 20 cents. You have no idea how uplifted that made me feel. Another woman would go into tesco's on her way to work each morning (presumably) and just leave a Tesco meal deal at the top of my sleeping bag.

Yes, homelessness frequently has alcohol or drug use associated. Also mental health issues. A few pence that you could spare, mean the world. Not just to be able to get your next drink, but to think that somebody somewhere cares.

Floralnomad Sat 05-Dec-15 14:04:19

I always give them money if I have some with me and I also give to homeless charities , indeed they are the only 'human' charities that I donate to on a regular basis . I'm another who doesn't care what happens to the money once I've handed it over .

Junoandthepeacock Sat 05-Dec-15 14:12:25

Clash city rocker - can I tell you that I didn't receive benefits while homeless. A lot don't, unless they are English. Their only 'income' is from begging.
I spent 2 months homeless in London. 'No second night out' can't help you unless you are on benefits. If you're not on benefits, you are fucked.
The cold, the insect bites, having a period while homeless, not having washed for two months, the humiliation of begging....
Believe me, some charities exist solely to pay salaries.
A baptist church and an anglican church were the only ones who gave me anything. Food and clothes and tampons from the baptists.
You've nowhere to wash, brush your teeth, anything. It was the most horrific, yet eye-opening 2 months of my life.

ShmooBooMoo Sat 05-Dec-15 14:17:26

I'm torn on this. I have given to people like the man you describe (wrong to potentially feed addiction, I know, but if I were homeless I'd probably drink to try to block out reality and the cold, so I don't blame them...I guess it's not a long-term solution but for many I assume it's about making day at a time...whatever gets you through).
When I was a student I bought a deep-filled chicken sandwich for a homeless bloke. When I handed it to him he handed it straight back claiming he was vegetarian hmm Now, I admire principles but if I were starving I think I'd eat anything...

ShmooBooMoo Sat 05-Dec-15 14:21:47

Juno, just read your post and it made me cry. People can be so heartless - I wonder how you would have kept going without those little acts of kindness.

Sleepingbunnies Sat 05-Dec-15 14:27:36

Yes I do. I saw a man the other day. He looked like my brother so I drew £10 out of the ATM near the bus stop I was waiting at and told him to get some breakfast. He looked like I'd made his day. If he was going to use it to get trashed that's his decision I felt better for having not stood at the bus stop with all the knobs in suits pretending he wasn't there.

Junoandthepeacock Sat 05-Dec-15 14:29:09

ShmooBooMoo - I wouldn't have survived. It's that simple.

And, can I categorically state, without being ageist or racist, that the most generous people were young black males (teenagers or early twenties).

Black females were also very generous and more concerned with giving food and clothes. I used to cry anytime anyone gave me anything because it was so humbling, so generous of them.

White people were not remotely concerned (I'm white).

Junoandthepeacock Sat 05-Dec-15 14:30:30

Sleepingbunnies - you are a sweetheart. You probably DID make his day!

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