You can tell who has been reading the Middle-England engaging press. They saunter passed a person with no current abode, sticking their nose in the air as though they are walking through a swamp.

The economic and social justice reasons for this occasionally over-dramatic course of action are justified, by the assertion that such human beings do not need the money for accommodation. The Metro, for example, jumped on comments made on behalf of homeless charity Thames Reach and the Independent before that quoted the then Housing Minister, Mark Prisk to justify their headline.

Paying the homeless courtesy

You certainly wouldn’t starve if your hunger was for sanctimonious home-truths about any amount of money you hand over, going on drugs and alcohol, in either order. Yet, it is difficult to read those articles without getting a lingering agitation that something has been missed off. We know what we can’t give, but what can we give?


The answer to this question must be: Humility and even a smattering of dignity and respect, in the form of a few words. Small talk, in my view, in these circumstances can be bigger than a £50 note, or whatever your currency of choice happens to be.

This small detail appears to have been omitted from the considerations of the above mentioned articles.

Surely, there’s a gaping opportunity to grasp the nettle and tackle, arguably major contributing factors to substance addiction – social isolation and feelings of detachment. Money probably wouldn't fix the problem, but that doesn't make it at all acceptable to assume that money is the thing that is really needed/being asked for in these circumstances, anyway.

Rarely have a few words about how someone is feeling or a new building that’s popped up nearby, gone unwelcome – in my humble opinion when adopting this course of action with “beggars/homeless people”.


The patronizing assertion that money is the centre of this issue, goes to show how far we are away from addressing the increasing issue of Homelessness and what can be done about people forced by circumstance to beg on the streets.

Next time you read a blinkered article about not separating yourself from your hard-earned cash. Just ask yourself this – is there anything else I could give?

If you’re stuck for something to talk about - then the weather is always a good start.