Homelessness

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Many people’s views on beggars are: get rid of them, throw them all in jail, some extremists even say kill them. You may say they plague your streets and Tony Parsons even said they make England seem like a third world country; but if they annoy you that much then why don’t you get them off your streets, by helping them?

In many LEDC’s like Indonesia, you see the unimaginable. Legless children sit on street corners, which do not ask but beg for money. For these people, begging is acceptable; it is not frowned upon, but is simply a way of life. Although they collect close to nothing each day, they still sit on that filthy, polluted, smelly street corner, through the worst of rainstorms and heat waves, breathing in the black fumes of the passing traffic, wearing nothing but a torn rag around their waist; yet day after day they sit there to make money in order to feed their families. If you don’t allow these people to beg, do you prefer they starve?

You sit here complaining about the smell they secrete yet you refuse to help get rid of them! These people are living lives that you would only dream of in you’re worst nightmares. You don’t know what these people go through, what they go through to raise their families, even what they go through to remain loyal to their pets; even though they have no money to feed themselves. However you wouldn’t know this, as you sit in your two storey houses, with three bathrooms and four bedrooms. On your leather couches, watching your LCD screens and listening to your home theatre systems; yet you can’t afford to give a man on a street corner some spare change?

“They have welfare benefits” is usually one of you ‘valid’ excuses. You go to Indonesia, and YOU tell me what benefits these people have! Not only in LEDC’s but even in MEDC’s like the U.S there are huge problems with the rising population in homelessness. On any given night in America, anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million people are homeless. Of these 44 percent did paid work during the past month. Mr. Parsons says these people have “no pride.” I guarantee you that if I were to ask any of these people 99.9% would say that they wouldn’t want to be in the financial position that they are in the present. Not everyone can control what happens to their future.

Picture this: A Harvard lawyer working in a big firm, earning $350,000 yearly. The firm is caught and closed down for money laundering. This lawyer had wired some money to a bank (having no idea it was illegal). He is now another pawn in the firm’s illegal game. He is thrown in jail for a year, meanwhile his wife and two kids are eating away at his money. Money can only last for so long. Finally he is released from jail, and desperately tries to find a new job. This task is literally impossible, who would want a lawyer that has been framed for money laundering and done time, working in their respected firm. It would cause the clients and shareholders to reconsider having anything to do with the comapny.

Six years later a man sits on a street corner wearing an old, faded, ripped Burberry suit that he had one wore to very important meetings. He remembers the old times as he sits there with a plastic cup, containing $2. With this money he has to feed his wife and kids. He reaches out to every passer by, and his skinny arms look like tree branches swaying in the wind.

Unfortunately similar scenarios are common in fast developing countries, causing more homeless people. I have seen many people out begging on streets. My heart fills with compassion every time I see one, and I often give them any spare change. Many of them are illiterate therefore can’t speak proper English so it’s hard for them to communicate, so they speak in their own languages, making me feel bad and somewhat guilty, as their eyes look into you like razors.

Beggars are people to and should be treated like them. They have rights like you and me. So next time you walk past that beggar, who sits on the same corner everyday, instead of mumbling a rude comment under your breath, give him a quarter, or maybe even a snack, so he can leave you and your streets in peace.

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