DO give money to beggars

I can’t believe it now, but twice on this blog I wrote posts advising not to give money to beggars. Well, fuck it… I just deleted those posts.

We often hear advice from (privileged) others how if you “give them money, they will just buy alcohol or drugs”. Advice given by people who have nice warm and cosy homes, people who have, relative to the homeless, lived lives of luxury. And it is relative. I’ve never been rich. I’m up to my ears in debt, and I was homeless for a few months about eleven years ago, but for most of my life, I’ve lived a life of luxury compared to some people. Meanwhile people born stinking rich live a life that I can’t even begin to imagine.

So what?

It’s all relative but the degrees that separate me from the elite rich are very different to what separates us middle class or even poor people from the homeless. We don’t worry where we will sleep, or where the next meal is coming from. And for those who do, the small comfort of drugs or alcohol are maybe not such bad things. Once you’re in that situation, unless you’re really lucky or still have some people willing to help you (as was the case for me), it’s really difficult to come back.

So fuck it. If you can afford to give, then give. I do when I can. And I can’t always, or can’t give much, but every little helps. And if they do spend the money on drugs, good for them. I hope they get a good high and escape the hell of their lives for a few minutes. Who am I to judge?

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