Almost every day when I leave the office, I walk to my closest tube station to take the train back home. In order to do that I pass through a small corridor, walk down some stairs and across the road afterwards to the entrance of the station. However, very close to the bottom of the stairs, most days of the year, there is the same homeless person waiting for people like me and asks for money. The problem I have with him is the fact that if you don’t give him money he sometimes gets abusive and starts calling you names.
I don’t think I’ve ever given him money. And since I found out he can be offensive, I don’t think I’ll give him money in the future, ever. I prefer buying ‘Big Issue’ sometimes or donating to organisations directly than giving money to people on the street like that. I’m not sure if that’s not the right thing to do, but I believe that money donated in proper organised charities are better spent than giving money to people on the street. I don’t know if there are lots of homeless people that don’t seek the help of charities and they can’t be reached. However, I’ll stand by what I think is best.
I’ve noticed though that since the end of the Olympics, lots of homeless people have returned to the streets of the city centre. Even the offensive guy was gone for a short while during August and early September, but now he’s back. It doesn’t affect me that he calls me sometimes names, probably an outcome of his hatred towards society or ‘privileged’ people with a job, a roof over them and a hot meal. On the contrary, instead of feeling annoyed or offended I feel content, thankful of the things in my life.