By Georgia Kelsey
Should it even be legal?
What gets your blood boiling? We all have a moment where we see a news headline which makes us so angry that we see red. Why does the government allow such things to happen? Can such a law even exist? Let it out and tell us about the legal issues which make you want to scream and shout.
The problem of homelessness is getting progressively worse; the number of people sleeping rough is on the rise. Our society responds to this by reinforcing a negative attitude towards these people as ‘drunks’ and ‘druggies’ and encourages people to avoid offering money because it will only fund these activities. Of course, you refraining from giving a quid is definitely going to help them kick the habit.
The proposition that we should not give money directly to the homeless as it may go towards their substance abuse is ridiculous. For starters, not every homeless person is an addict. Homeless people need money to be able to buy other things, not just food, for example clean underwear and tampons/ sanitary towels. I met a woman that chose to save up for her tampons instead of eating, and this is not uncommon. Your money is likely to go towards providing someone with a small speck of normality that we take for granted and do not think twice about. Secondly, supposing this person is an addict, do they not deserve food? Do they not deserve the right to spend their money as they choose? Are we happy as a society to refuse homeless individuals a small amount of money because they might spend it on substances that offer an escape from reality, and are we really in a position to judge when a lot of us use these ourselves for the same reasons on a Friday night in Ocean (and we can afford a kebab after)?
I’m not suggesting giving a small sum will generate big change, these people are homeless due to vicious policies targeting the vulnerable. But if you can give, then do, don’t be dissuaded by the stigma, your kindness could make a dark day brighter.