Homeless doesn’t mean Worthless

by duncanr

my late wife used to hate going into town with me – I’d spend £10-20 before we reached any shops!

she was convinced all beggars had smart phones secreted about their person, were connected to one another via a whatsapp group, and as soon as i’d . . .

slipped one beggar a few quid my description and route of travel was forwarded to the rest of the group

how else to explain why once I’d given to one beggar, every subsequent one we came across seemed to make a bee-line for me – ignoring all the smartly dressed, well-groomed, briefcase-carrying, more affluent-looking (than me) men and woman?

my own opinion was simply that they thought a long-haired, bearded, bare-footed, scruffy git was more approachable, less likely to look down his nose at them as if they were a piece of shit

I admit, though, I am a soft touch. If I see a woman begging on the street, or anyone with a dog, then I will cross the road to give them somewthing

I’ve heard all the arguments against giving money to beggars and while some are undoubtedly true in some cases, I prefer to give regardless

I would rather donate money to some folk that don’t need or deserve it if that is the price to pay to make sure those who genuinely need my help do receive it

a lot of folk who end up on the street have alcohol/drug dependency problems and I know that any money I give them may be used to feed that dependency (i.e., buy drugs or booze) rather than on food or clothing but my answer to those who criticise me for giving money to those folk is ‘so what?’ If they are right in what they are saying then at least by giving money, I have prevented some poor innocent soul getting mugged and robbed to fuel an addict’s drug dependency

like I said, I’m a soft touch. I’ve never been properly homeless, myself, but there were times – when I was traveling – when I slept in doorways, in parks, on beaches, and it was cold, and scary! So, I always give whatever I can to folk that ask for my help

more important than money, though, is time!

just a few moments to talk to someone – to recognise them as a fellow human being, regardless of their appearance – to offer your name, ask for their’s – a few minutes general conversation, and a handshake when you leave them to go on your way

it doesn’t take much to enrich someone’s life, to treat them with respect

don’t be so quick to dismiss someone on the street as a ‘loser’, a ‘wastrel’ – take the time to talk to them, and their stories – if they chose to share – might surprise you and give you pause to think



One Comment to “Homeless doesn’t mean Worthless”

  1. Well I think I qualify.
    Smartphone… yep
    WhatsApp… yep
    Don’t need or deserve it… yep

    Well come on then – where’s me 100 quid?


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