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AIBU

Do you give to people begging in town ?

(257 Posts)
Jaffacake2 Mon 10-May-21 18:52:29

Now that lockdown is easing and the shops are open it seems my town has an influx of beggars back on the streets. In the past I have offered to buy hot drinks and food but have been met with abuse and demands for cash. I don't give money and have at times phoned our city's outreach homeless team to alert them. They have told me that they regularly patrol streets and that there is enough hostel spaces to offer a bed.
Just wondered what others do when asked for money ?

Whitewavemark2 Mon 10-May-21 18:57:42

I very very rarely go into town, but when I do the answer is Yes I always do.

I have so much compared to those poor souls.

Aveline Mon 10-May-21 19:00:12

It's very difficult to know if a person is really a poor soul in need or part of a Romanian gang. We have one here but I don't know how widespread they are. I know about this as I have a Romanian friend who is absolutely furious at this organised group.
You can buy meal vouchers for a local charity but these people are not interested. They just want hard cash. A lady with a learning disability was leaned on heavily by one of them and happily handed over the contents of her purse. Her mother was furious.
This sort of thing gives those in need a bad name.

BlueBelle Mon 10-May-21 19:05:05

Frauds aren’t only confined to Romanians avaline they come in all shapes, sizes, and from all countries including our own

Aveline Mon 10-May-21 19:06:37

Oh I know its just that we have this large nasty gang here.

Riverwalk Mon 10-May-21 19:09:43

Sometimes I do - if they're genuine.

I'm a street-wise city girl so like to think I can suss out who's really in need.

Grandmajean Mon 10-May-21 19:10:14

Hadn't seen many locally for a while even before lockdown but I used to buy and offer a sandwich . I was a sucker if they had a dog and bought a tub of quality dog food too !

Maggiemaybe Mon 10-May-21 19:10:35

I always feel guilty, but no, I don't give to beggars on the street now. I always used to, but our local foodbank, which also offers outreach support to the homeless, warns on the local Facebook group not to as they have been alerted to several who turned out not to be genuine. We donate to the foodbank group directly and via direct debit to the Centrepoint charity, and I always support our Big Issue seller (I'm hoping to see him back soon, as he hasn't reappeared yet sad). I'd rather be sure that the cash went to those who really need it.

Loislovesstewie Mon 10-May-21 19:12:13

A lot of the 'beggars' have homes and are claiming benefits; if you give money to them, they will be spending it on drink/drugs. I speak as a former homelessness officer, and we knew that to be the case;they were people we dealt with regularly. There was a designated outreach worker for street homeless people, and she knew the circumstances of all the 'beggars'.

MiniMoon Mon 10-May-21 19:15:04

I don't give to people begging on the street. I offered someone my hotel packed lunch, which was happily accepted.

Scentia Mon 10-May-21 19:15:36

I don’t give money but will always stop for a chat and ask how they are. Worth so much more to a genuine person that a few pence.

Deedaa Mon 10-May-21 19:18:36

It seems a long time since I saw anyone asking for money. I do buy the Big Issue if I see a seller and I donate to Dogs On The Streets who provide Veterinary help for the dogs and their owners and are able to foster the dogs if the owner has to go into hospital, or sadly dies as happened recently.

Nonogran Mon 10-May-21 19:23:22

I never ever give money to street beggars. I regularly donate to the local homeless charities who are prevalent in my local city.
In conversation one day with a lovely Big Issue vendor, she told me a tale of beggars being mini bussed in from elsewhere who were then deployed around our fair city & watched over by the gang master who regularly pimped their money, sandwiches or other donations.
Give if you will but in my humble opinion, far better to donate to a supportive charity.

MerylStreep Mon 10-May-21 19:25:56

Yes I do give. Like Riverwalk I’m very street savvy.
I have one lady who knows my name. If she sees me before I see her she calls me at the top of her voice 😄
When I give money there are no strings attached as to what the recipient spends it on.

AmberSpyglass Mon 10-May-21 19:27:48

Yes. If I’m going into a shop, I might ask if there’s something I can get someone as well. It’s hard enough being homeless without not having the choice to spend what money someone is giving you on what you actually want.

Callistemon Mon 10-May-21 19:30:58

Not generally any more since I was wised up by someone who works for a homeless charity.
However, there is a lovely man, Romanian I think and always says hello, who stands outside a local shop and he has such a lovely smile I always give to him.
He may be part of a gang but he cheers my day.

Gannygangan Mon 10-May-21 19:34:24

Yes, I always have done.

I don't really care what they spend it on.

I've had a few good chats with some

Not all of them want to live in a hostel either. We had one bloke who lived by the edge of a lake near the promenade. He was very well known. People had offered him accommodation but he said he was happy.

The town was very sad when he died. He'd been quite the character and lots of us turned out for his funeral which was paid for by local residents who'd started a Go Fund Me page on FB.

Loislovesstewie Mon 10-May-21 19:39:00

You don't care if they buy drugs with your donation?

Jaxjacky Mon 10-May-21 19:39:17

I buy the big issue as thats for sale in a small, local shopping centre. But I haven’t been to our local town for about four or five years years, rarely saw any then.

Urmstongran Mon 10-May-21 19:39:59

No. I always used to but then I read servers articles saying it absolutely isn’t necessary to be like this (begging). All the same I feel bad when I walk past.

Apparently Manchester city centre, in Piccadilly Gardens is a disgrace now. Makes me ashamed to think of visitors coming here. A friend walked past about a month ago and said it’s like ‘tent city’ with beggars, drunks, rubbish. No-one moves them on. During the day some of them stash their sleeping bags in the BT phone boxes. My friend said it looked scruffy, dirty and she was ashamed to see what has become of the once beautiful green space.

Buffybee Mon 10-May-21 19:45:05

Before Covid, I would go to the theatre in Manchester and if I saw a homeless person, I would give them money.
My friend disapproves as she says they’ll just spend it on drugs and booze.
I just can’t walk past them and if any are not genuine, I’ll take that risk.
One night my friend caught the tram but I had driven down, walking back to my car, a young girl ran across the road towards me. She asked me could I help her, so I had a chat. She told me she’d lost her flat by stupidly spending her benefits on drugs etc.
I asked what she needed, a bed for one night, as she had an interview the next day to get her back on her feet and some food.
She told me there were places she could go but was afraid to go there as she’d been sexually assaulted in the night.
She was a tiny, pretty blonde thing, how could I turn her away.
I made her promise to look after herself and she asked could she hug me and told me she would.
I think of her now and then and hope she’s safe somewhere.

TrendyNannie6 Mon 10-May-21 19:45:54

Not anymore no, I gave a couple of who I thought were men down on their luck begging on the streets both had cloth on floor both had dogs, one had guitar in case next to him, after I had given him my change I went into shop behind him as I came out, he was getting up out of his dirty clothes and had a suit on underneath and walked off with his dog in tow, the other man was still in same place as I walked back

CanadianGran Mon 10-May-21 19:48:29

Never money. Occasionally a hot drink or sandwich. We are in a small town, and no one actually begs. There are a few down-and-out street folks with substance abuse issues, but soup kitchen is open for lunch.

I had to laugh one day; there is an elderly man with a walker that collects bottles for refund that was in our residential neighbourhood. He asked if I had any empties, so I ran in to get a few for him. He was having issues fitting them in the basket under his seat - there was quite a large bottle still half full. I helped him fit in the empties, and noted that he was not likely to find any more nearby so he should head back into town. He asked for a lift! I said because of covid I was not allowed to have anyone in my car, and besides that I could not fit all the walker and bottles! He just laughed and thanked me anyway...

Iam64 Mon 10-May-21 19:53:41

We have a monthly donation to a good local charity. It provides food, essential items and support to people in need, including the homeless. I avoid giving cash to the growing army of beggars but don’t find it easy to drive by as they stand in the rain.

Chewbacca Mon 10-May-21 19:55:02

Urmstongran, I know the area well and agree that Manchester Central has changed a great deal. The last time I was there, just before lockdown #1, I was walking down from Piccadilly Station approach towards Market Street and saw a young woman sat on the floor of a shop doorway. She was sat with a paper cup outstretched so I dropped in the only change I had in my purse; about £1.50 or so. I'd gone about 3 steps when I suddenly felt coins hitting the backs of my legs! When I turned around she was screaming abuse at me for being a "tight bitch"! That won't happen again.