In Farmer’s Branch, TX, there was a man who went (and still goes) to Vegas seven times a year funded only by money he made begging. After waking up in his nice bed in his house in the suburbs, he’d dress in tatty clothes, smear himself with dirt, park his Ford Explorer five or six blocks away from the day’s designated street corner, and pretend to be an injured homeless man. His injury switched every week. One week his leg was broken, the next week he had a back brace, then the next week his arm was in a sling.
Another “homeless” man made roughly $300 a day begging, or $100,000 a year, tax-free. With a “salary” like that, why would he ever stop begging? Easy work for a decent living? Why would anyone say no to that?
Oh, right. Because normal people have consciences, or at least, I hope we do.
Call me callous, but this is why I never give money to people on the street. If I’m going to give money to people in need, I want to make sure they’re actually in need. That’s why charities are ideal establishments for donations, as opposed to an allegedly homeless person’s coffee cup that I can’t be sure came from a trash can or Pier 1. Homelessland isn’t an every-man-for-himself anarchy. Many charities and shelters exist to help real homeless people, or at least pretend to help them, and at the end of the day, isn’t that all that really counts?