December 19, 2010

IT'S LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM HOBO-BASHING:

Charity for homeless tells people not to give money to beggars at Christmas: Thames Reach says seasonal generosity is spent on buying crack cocaine and heroin (Jamie Doward, 12/18/10, The Observer)

A major homeless charity is urging people not to give money to beggars this Christmas. The comments by Thames Reach, which provides support to more than 8,500 homeless people in London and surrounding counties every year, are likely to reignite the debate about the merits of giving cash to people who ostensibly live on the streets.

The intervention echoes comments made by the previous government's "homelessness czar", Louise Casey, who sparked a furore a decade ago when she described cash handouts to the homeless as "misplaced goodwill".

But Thames Reach is citing "overwhelming evidence that people who beg on the street do so to buy hard drugs, particularly crack cocaine and heroin". Outreach team members estimate 80% of people begging do so to support a drug habit. The research is corroborated by the results of drug tests by the police on a group of people arrested for begging in Westminster; 70% tested positive for crack cocaine or heroin.

"Giving to people who beg is not a benign act without consequences," said Mike Nicholas, a spokesman for Thames Reach.


One doesn't give beggars money to help them, just to make oneself feel better.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 19, 2010 9:25 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« TIGHT BORDERS, TIGHT TRADE, TIGHT MONEY AND DERIVATIVE FRAUD: | Main | THERE'S JUST ONE DIFFERENCE: »