Beggars and such

This is my logic.

Draw three circles one for the homeless, one for the working poor, one for beggars, and have them intersect (is that the word I want?) with the other circles with between 5% or 75% of one circle in the other circle. And this is my logic, not all homeless are unemployed, not all beggars are homeless, not all homeless are beggars.

Last year I went on a tangent about giving to street beggars and making the point, you’re not really helping the homeless when you plop a dollar or spare change in the cup.

First, not all homeless people, which includes homeless families, have been reduced to begging on the street. If you really want to help the homeless support the institutions that support the homeless such as health clinics, soup kitchens, shelters and other programs in the city such as Bread for the City, N Street Village, and S.O.M.E. Your handouts to beggars do nothing to coax people off the streets and into programs that with address their physical and emotional needs.

Second, not all homeless are unemployed. A minimum wage job in this city will have one spending more than half of one’s pre-tax income on rent. Throw in our friend gentrification and other DC housing woes and you have fewer units that low wage earners can afford.

Last, not all beggars are homeless. Some are con-artists, some are begging to support a habit, a habit that makes my part of Shaw unwelcoming by supporting the drug dealers, and the liquor stores on EVERY OTHER CORNER!

As I said, you want to help the homeless, I mean really, really help the homeless, make their lives better, live longer to see another day? Give to the Shaw charity of your choice:

Bread for the City

Helping Hands (508 P Street)

N Street Village


Covenant House (okay not in Shaw but across the street)

Catholic Charities

But don’t give money to beggars. The only thing you are doing is supporting a chemical habit and the drug economy in Shaw and encouraging begging in the area.