zeborah: Zebra looking at its rainbow reflection (rainbow)
[personal profile] zeborah
I haven't been in the position of begging for food money (I've busked, but that was for pocket money, so and also it's not the same) so these reasons are from my imagination, not experience. As such, they likely lack nuance and I'm probably missing piles more.
  1. They don't know where that hamburger's been.
  2. They're vegetarian.
  3. They're gluten-free.
  4. Or lactose-intolerant.
  5. Or have other allergies.
  6. Or other medical conditions.
  7. Or just want to eat healthily to prevent future medical conditions which they won't be able to afford to treat.
  8. They've actually just eaten. It's just that they'd like to eat tomorrow too, but it's forecast for rain: miserable and unprofitable weather for begging, and a dollar keeps better than your hamburger.
  9. They've actually just eaten. It's just that they'd like to feed their kid too, and a hamburger is a poor substitute for formula.
  10. They lied. They don't need money for food. It's just that they don't have a card that says "Need money for toothpaste and toilet paper".
  11. They lied. They don't need money for food. It's just that begging for food money gets more money than begging for shoes-that-don't-leak money.
  12. Let alone for condom money.
  13. They'd love a hamburger right now. But begging for charity is soul-destroying enough at the best of times, let alone when someone implies they're a drunken gambling-addicted drug addict not to be trusted with bit of spare change. Honestly they'd rather starve for another day than accept your right to judge their sincerity.
  14. Bugger the burger. They've had a shitty week and they deserve a beer, dammit.
Not that I'm saying one should always give money to beggars. There's plenty of reasons one might choose not to, or not be able to. (Sometimes I choose not to because it's a nuisance wrestling my purse out of my bag. No claims of sainthood from this corner.)

I'm not even saying one should never offer a hamburger to beggars. Just, if they refuse it, that isn't evidence that they don't need the money.

Date: 2012-03-22 08:43 am (UTC)
keieeeye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] keieeeye
Considering alcohol withdrawal can be lethal, and doctors have been telling people to just keep drinking because there aren't enough rehab beds, I seriously have no problem with #14. Even if they're not actively trying to quit, that might well be because they're in a really shitty position to add withdrawal to their other problems.

Date: 2012-03-22 08:53 am (UTC)
keieeeye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] keieeeye
That too! Plus it often makes sleeping easier (though it doesn't much for me if I have enough to actually get tipsy because then whenever I close my eyes the room starts spinning faster and faster, ugh).

Date: 2012-03-22 09:30 am (UTC)
julesjones: (Default)
From: [personal profile] julesjones
Also, beer is still calories, and for someone presentable enough to get into a pub may be a way of buying a couple of hours out of the cold.

I very rarely give to beggars, partly because of the "getting the purse out" problem. But one of the beggars I do give to occasionally is someone I am certain will promptly spend it on beer and cigs. If it makes his day a little easier to get through, so be it.

I have on one occasion offered food to a beggar, but that was because I was loading groceries into my car when he approached me, and he looked as if he might need to eat right then and there. He did say something along the lines of he'd already had food that day, but he also said how much he appreciated somebody actually talking to him. I think being given money *and* offered some food I had to hand if he wanted it meant quite a lot to him.

Date: 2012-03-22 10:55 am (UTC)
julesjones: (Default)
From: [personal profile] julesjones
Oh, and one more reason where I was specifically asked by someone for money for this purpose:

To buy a pack of sanitary towels.

She also wanted enough money to buy a bus ticket to get to the women's refuge on the other side of the Bay, which was on a route where you had to pay extra on top of the local day pass. But her period had just started, and she wanted to get a sanitary towel before getting on the hour long bus ride. And yes, in that situation, *I'd* consider the pack of sanitary towels a higher priority than food, for practical as well as psychological reasons.

Date: 2012-03-22 07:55 pm (UTC)
deird1: lilac flowers, with text "how do they rise up" (Default)
From: [personal profile] deird1
*nods*

One of my homeless friends had all her underwear stolen a couple of months ago. Any extra money people gave her was going to buy new underwear.

Date: 2012-03-22 03:54 pm (UTC)
laughingrat: My Marxist-Feminist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard, with added unfortunate Beauty-2K compliance. (Marxist-Feminist Dialectic)
From: [personal profile] laughingrat
Trufax.

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