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Vio
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Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:26 pm

Hi,

Almost everyone who lives in a decent size city throughout Canada or USA has had or has almost daily encounters with homeless people. Yesterday, on my way from work, I stopped in downtown Calgary at one of the liqor stores to buy myself a nice big bottle of Slivovica (yum). Anyway, there were about 4 or 5 homeless guys lurking around the store and ofcourse "Do you have any spare change?" questions poped up almost as soon as I got out of my car. "Sorry man, I do not". Really, I didn't. I normally pay by debit.

Anyway, I bought the booze and went to a fellow pilot's house to enjoy this Eastern European delight. Over a few glasses, we started discussing the morality behind buying booze for the homeless. Obviously this isn't something I'd think about on a regular basis, but, it's Christmas and everyone feels like giving. Now a lot of peple would say "Buy them food" or "Give them clothes to wear". Well food? I don't think they need it. There are plenty of drop in centers who give them meals. Clothes? yes, very good idea (which I shall do do tonight. I have lots of old clothes that I don't like anymore, which are still in very good shape.)

Back to buying booze ... I'm sure a nice 6 pack of beer would cheer them up a bit. After all, we can't deny that most of them love drinking. What do you guys think?

Regards,

Vio
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:31 pm

Last time I tried to give a homeless guy a beer he refused it saying that he didn't drink. He took a couple of cans of Coke instead.

Can't see how a beer would hurt, but a bottle of liquor probably isn't such a good idea.

BF
Fortune favours the brave
 
jwenting
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:32 pm

moral? depends on your morals (some religions prohibit the use of alcohol and that includes the offering of alcohol to others for example).
smart? certainly not.

If you want to help them, take them to a homeless shelter run by the Salvation Army or a similar group where they'll be taken care of with food, a bed for the night, and maybe other things (like medical attention) if they need it.

Give the money for the booze to the shelter, where it will do a lot more good than in a bottle of booze consumed by a wino.
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CaptOveur
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:55 pm

It is feeding what is likely a want, not a need for the homeless guy.

He has more pressing needs, but he will buy the booze anyway.

I don't see the moral conflict... However, if he wants food and you give him a beer instead.. that might be an issue.
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SlamClick
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:39 am

Quoting Vio (Thread starter):
Now a lot of peple would say "Buy them food" or "Give them clothes to wear"



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 2):
If you want to help them, take them to a homeless shelter



Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 3):
It is feeding what is likely a want

I don't know how it is in your city but here there are beds that go empty on summer nights in the various shelters. There are places that will feed anyone who asks. Nevertheless, "homeless" people still sit at the freeway offramps to working-class neighborhoods (not the barrio, not the upscale homes) and beg.

A few years back, when I lived in such a place, a familiar figure was sitting there by the road with a sign that said: "why lie, I need a beer" Well, I happened to have some home brew in the trunk so I jumped out and gave him two bottles. He packed up his sign in his stolen dairy crate and left with his beer.

He was there every day, all summer long. One day I was driving down a street behind a strip mall and saw him crossing the street toward some apartments. Curious, I stopped my car and watched. He walked up the stairs, fished a key out of his pocket and let himself into an apartment. I believe he wasn't quite so homeless as you might think. I think his day job is begging for money at the freeway offramp.

I have hundreds of "drink tokes" from a local casino from years ago when I used to cash my paychecks there. I could hand these out down by the river and get our entire homless population drunk for free. Wonder what would happen? Might get ugly as casino security isn't quite as PC as you or I might be.
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Newark777
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:45 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 4):
I believe he wasn't quite so homeless as you might think. I think his day job is begging for money at the freeway offramp.

There was a story in the NY Post I believe, a while back, where they followed this homeless woman who they suspected wasn't so homeless. Well, same thing happened, one day she packed her things up, walked around the block, and got into her luxury car and drive off.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
jaysit
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:48 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 5):
Well, same thing happened, one day she packed her things up, walked around the block, and got into her luxury car and drive off.

Ivana should really stop doing that !
Acting homeless will not make the Donald increase her alimony.
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ltbewr
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:50 am

No it isn't. Indeed, a more morally correct act is not to be an enabler to anybody with a drinking/drug problem as difficult as that might be. I would also note that many true homeless are people with mental illness, and many others are drug/alcohol abusers. The better act would be to encourage organized private/government social service organizations reps to help these people or give your money to them.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:56 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 2):
If you want to help them, take them to a homeless shelter run by the Salvation Army or a similar group where they'll be taken care of with food, a bed for the night, and maybe other things (like medical attention) if they need it.

Years ago I saw a Salvation Army soup kitchen in Barcelona, Spain. There the homeless had to listen to a sermon and then at least pretend to pray before they received any food.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 2:58 am

As a rule I won't buy alcohol as it is enabling addictive behavior. Generally I won't give money either, but I will buy food for them instead. If they ask for money for coffee, I'll offer to buy them a coffee. If they're hungry, I'll offer to go to McDonalds and buy them food. I get taken up on it about half the time, and I'm happy to do it for them.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
whitehatter
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:25 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 5):

There was a story in the NY Post I believe, a while back, where they followed this homeless woman who they suspected wasn't so homeless. Well, same thing happened, one day she packed her things up, walked around the block, and got into her luxury car and drive off.

Almost identical to one we used to have here. This woman used to beg in the same place every day, then her husband would pick her up in the evening. They apparently had a nice car and home somewhere, and she was actually mentally ill!

She had a compulsion to go on the streets and beg. This all came out when she died and people started making enquiries about where she had gone.

I don't like giving money to beggars but I'll buy a Big Issue. That's a magazine sold on the street by homeless people in Britain which lets the seller keep about 72 pence in the pound of the sale price, giving them a small but useful income which is legal. Begging here is a crime, but selling a magazine in this fashion isn't.

Sellers are given identity cards by the magazine producers to show it's a genuine licenced seller, and any profit goes to providing walk-in health and housing support for the homeless. They can see a doctor or nurse and get practical help if they want it to access emergency shelter and find longer term solutions to housing and benefits.

Big Issue has helped get a lot of people off the streets, into housing and even into steady jobs.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
MattRB
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RE: Is It Moral To Buy Homeless People Alchohol?

Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:35 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 4):
He was there every day, all summer long. One day I was driving down a street behind a strip mall and saw him crossing the street toward some apartments. Curious, I stopped my car and watched. He walked up the stairs, fished a key out of his pocket and let himself into an apartment. I believe he wasn't quite so homeless as you might think. I think his day job is begging for money at the freeway offramp.



Quoting Newark777 (Reply 5):
There was a story in the NY Post I believe, a while back, where they followed this homeless woman who they suspected wasn't so homeless. Well, same thing happened, one day she packed her things up, walked around the block, and got into her luxury car and drive off.

We've got one of those up here as well. Well profiled in one of the local newspapers. Has a false tremors act that feeds a very trendy lifestyle (upscale apartment, leather couches, big screen tv, fancy car). Rather feisty when confronted and can move pretty well, for a woman who supposedly can't walk very well.

I'm of the opinion that people like that deserve jail time for defrauding the public as they do.
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