Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

This is a tricky forum post for me... I am a compassionate person (or at least I'd like to think so) but I do not want to have to encounter this supposedly homeless petson's little encampment on my journey to and from work every day. I suspect they are what I describe as "professional beggars". The little tin with a teddy and loose change are presumably there to encourage "donations" even when they are not physically there. I reported my concerns to the Council and whereas when I reported dumped rubbish or other routine issues, I got an almost instant acknowledgement I've yet to hear anything back from them. As far as I'm concerned, the Council should be putting him in appropriate temporary accommodation or, if he is indeed a professional beggar, moving him on.

Tags for Forum Posts: homelessness

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If you feel uncomfortable giving money to an individual, it's well worth considering donating to St Mungos. As well as providing outreach, practical support and at least one hostel in the borough, they work in partnership with Streetlink mentioned on the previous page.
. If you have skills that you could use to help homeless people you can also donate your time.

http://www.mungosbroadway.org.uk/how_you_can_help/make_a_donation
Anyone would think I was going round kicking people in the street. I've done everything I can think of here. Except part with my cash because I think it is morally wrong to do so.

It's not what you've done, it's your attitude, particularly your assertion in your original post that you're a compassionate person.  You may be well meaning, but you're ignorant and riddled with prejudice and in this case it is stopping your compassion coming through so you need to rethink.  And as already said nobody is suggesting that parting with your cash is the correct thing to do.  That is NOT the issue.

How am I ignorant? I have done a lot of research on this subject. The one thing I have learnt from starting this forum post is that I am targeted by beggars because I am a white middle class middle aged woman; presumably because I'm most likely to hand over cash and not tell them to f*** off or worse.. I did a straw poll amongst friends and work colleagues. My highly unscientific experiment confirms that my demographic group are asked considerably more often than (at the other end of the spectrum) my male black friends who say they are hardly ever asked for money in the street. So it seems prejudice is indeed rife, but not at my hands. I am not going to apologise for finding this constant barrage intrusive and upsetting. I am fed up with it.

The 2nd half of my post seems to have disappeared but I went on to say that I feel like I must have "soft touch" on my forehead.  I was approached for money by someone last week.  When I replied politely "sorry no", I was told "I hope you die of cancer you fat bitch".  Why should I have to put up with that?

How large was your survey sample? Was it representative of the general population or did you need to adjust for potential gender/ethnicity bias? I'm interested because I've noticed an increasing trend in forums of people generalising based on unsound sampling methods. I would also argue that your confirmation may be invalidated by confirmational bias.

I already said it was highly unscientific.  My friends (unsurprisingly) are mainly (but not exclusively) white middle class middle aged people with children like myself; but my middle class mixed race brother says he has never been asked 8 times in a day for money, and he lives in the same area and works in Lincolns Inn Fields.  But my work colleagues are as diverse as they get.  I was honestly surprised to hear from the black men that they don't get asked for money.  "They wouldn't dare" was one response I got.  My asian colleagues said they're only approached by asian people.  Again, something I wouldn't have expected.  None of that is confirmation of my original "biased" view.

Sorry but why on earth would anyone live like this if they were not genuinely homeless? Not a compassionate reaction I'm afraid
I don't know this individual's story. But there are many who choose to sleep rough over sleeping at hostels and B&B's because they consider the rules too draconian for them, whether that's bans on alcohol or pets or smoking or whatever.

So what if they do? What on earth makes you think you have the right to decide someone else's hierarchy of needs (not to get too Maslow about it)?  Have you been homeless?  If you had a dog that had stayed with you as your only friend while your parents beat you up, or your partner raped you, or your friends abandoned you or people walked by and looked down on you or sat at their computers pontificating about what you need or deserve and you had no human contact, would you simply say goodbye to that dog?  Companionship is vital for human existence.  

I'm going to make a detour specifically to the bridge today. Not as a research project, not with the aim of finding out this man's story, not to report back and use him as an example, just to make eye contact and say 'hello'.   

Incidentally, homelessness can happen to anyone and there might just be members of this forum that have been homeless. 

Vanfrs, I read Antoinette's post above (about some people not wanting to go into a hostel) as a statement of what sometimes happens rather than a judgement on any person. I've worked in dry (no alcohol allowed) and wet (alcohol allowed) hostels and the guys who would take a bed in a wet hostel often would rather sleep rough than go to a dry one. The same with places that will/won't allow dogs.

Apologies if I misinterpreted and jumped the gun.  

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