My personal opinion: NO!
I don’t know if I’ve written this here in the forum or somewhere else, but the experience is the same (so sorry if I should repeat myself).
A little over twenty years ago, I walked through the city centre with an acquaintance.He then stopped at a well-known beggar and spoke to him quite casually: the two knew each other, that was obvious. This beggar stood out because he was always well-groomed and really had a charisma; he could talk well, listen and definitely didn’t look down.
I invited him for a coffee, next door there was a bakery and there were some standing tables outside.I followed the conversation between the two of them without getting myself in, so the beggar said that he was currently living in a certain guesthouse. In addition, an elderly woman was walking by, pushing 20DM into his hand as he walked by.
Moment… at that time I was working as a fitter nationwide (“on assembly…”) and saw that I save my triggers as much as possible by always looking for the most favorable accommodation.From the guesthouse he mentioned, I knew that there was an overnight stay not to get under 70-80DM. And then the 20DM in passing…
So I asked, in a wealed, “Now, if you can afford such an expensive pension, how much do you get together in this way?
He said between 5 and 7.
So between 500 and 700DM?How do you pay for the pension?
No, between 5000 and 7000DM per month!
My chin slid down!
He began to tell: he can/could (have not seen him forever, hence the past form) listen very well.When he is begging, lonely people come up to him again and again and tell him about his suffering. He saw himself as a kind of social service. He didn’t ask anyone for anything, but if someone gave him anything then he didn’t say no. He also had no inhibitions to reach out to strangers and ask for money; most turn away annoyed, but many also say yes.
Why do you live in the guesthouse when you can rent an apartment much cheaper?- I asked.
“Because then I would be registered with a permanent residence and would no longer be gwanted.” There are also beggars who live in a rented apartment on the side; Advertisements with each other are nothing rare.He himself has already made several complaints – so one can very easily create the “competition” from the neck – his words, not mine. The coveted places (ideally in front of an ATM in the city centre) are literally being waged in small wars.
At the end, he told me about his family; they are supposed to be well-heeled people from the neighborhood, but they don’t want to have anything to do with him anymore.A relative probably wanted to give him 200DM at Christmas time: he knocked out the money and beat his relatives by screaming. He would not have needed their pity.
He told a lot of things; Does anyone know the people who sometimes stand in the city centre and raise money for distressed animals?- According to him, you need a kind of license to collect donations. I remember that such fundraisers would like to present your donation card. So it’s all right. Should you think… He told me that there was no control at all (I stress: back then. I don’t know how it works today, 95% of the money raised ends up in your own pocket.
There was once a politician who demanded – evil!- that beggars should be taxed. After this experience, I don’t even find this demand SO absurd.
One sentence at the end: he saw himself as Clochard.He didn’t find negative other people begging for money. He also tells me about the fact that he once deliberately spent the winter in a children’s wood hut. He was proud of that.