London Council’s Homelessness Poster Advises Public Against Giving To Beggars

Vox Political commenter Tracie Wayling has written to say, “This has to be the sickest, most twisted attempt of blatant propaganda and outright 180 degree reversal of the truth that I have ever seen. What an example of trying to convince you that 2+2=5!”

She’s right, Kensington and Chelsea is wrong. Complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority? Or who?

A London borough has launched a controversial poster campaign that advises the public not to give money to those begging on the streets as doing so may “contribute to someone’s early death”.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea advises the public in a poster which claims that those begging are “likely to spend the money on drugs and alcohol”.

But those who have seen pictures of the poster have voiced their disagreement, alongside homelessness charities, who say the decision to give money is a personal one and that those begging are nonetheless vulnerable.

Source: London Council’s Homelessness Poster Advises Public Against Giving To Beggars

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23 thoughts on “London Council’s Homelessness Poster Advises Public Against Giving To Beggars

  1. And I'll Remember

    When I was working in London, I’d walk to my office from Victoria station. It broke my heart. People had been out all night, no shelter or comfort, a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace. It felt so wrong. It is wrong. If we choose to give money, we are doing so because we don’t know any other way to help these vulnerable souls. As the song says, ‘it’s not that far’. We are potentially all one step away from becoming homeless.

  2. Ruby

    Absolutely disgusting! The attitude to the homeless in this country is beyond belief!

    Apart from the fact that there shouldn’t be any homelessness in a civilised country, we should be showing some empathy to those less fortunate than ourselves, both as individuals and as a society.

    Instead we have a culture of attacking the poor and vulnerable which has started at the top (Government) and, like sheep, most of the general population are following their line.
    Luckily there are a few of us who don’t buy into the propaganda but think for ourselves and actually see what is happening around us.

    If you see someone begging on the street, and are not sure if they are genuine, buy them a sandwich and a drink. If you know of a homeless youngster give them somewhere to stay till they sort themselves out (I did).

    I only speak out of experience and am not any kind of expert in any field, I am just a human being with empathy for my fellow man. Something which is sadly lacking nowadays.

  3. Mr.Angry

    Could only happen in Chelsea and Kensington how dare the homeless cause embarrassment to the locals, shame on them.

    What a despicable society we have become, well done tories your plans to kick the poor back into the earth appear to be working you deserve praise evil b*******ds.

  4. Adam Hester

    I work in the city and its a soulless place. I always try and provide a sandwich and a tea for anyone down on their luck. I’ve met some very intelligent people and they are in this position through no fault of their own and they just get moved on or thrown in the gutter. It can happen to anyone.

  5. Florence

    I used to walk to work through the Waterloo station area, where homeless would beg. I would always make eye contact, and acknowledge anyone there, sometime give money. One day there was a regular, a young black guy and I said hello. He started to weep. No-one had spoken to him in several days, and was at rock bottom, said he felt “invisible & less than human”. He was an ex-army guy whose life had crumbled. Long story, he got himself off the streets. The “homeless” is a shifting population, few of whom chose it.

    The homeless are just us, a few different twists in life, it could be you or I. Now their ranks are being swelled by the political choices being made to make the poor pay over & over out of political spite. I won’t make an “us & them” as this poster insists we must. We can’t forget they are human beings, and this poster plays heavily into the scapegoating of the poor, and benefit claimants, and now the homeless (they all do drink & drugs, at “our” expense we’re told). pushing (nudging?) the narrative of “austerity” and neocon ideology of individual personal responsibility. This poster dehumanises the homeless and tells us not to care – all we see are the hands, waiting for the “handout”.

    Indeed beggars are not always homeless, they are joined by the sanctioned, and others in poverty, too. Should they all become “hard-working” prostitutes or thieves? Not having money for food is being used to criminalise the poor, and perhaps crowd-funding to pay fines is great, but at the same time I feel deeply ashamed that there is such need in a rich country.

    I’m not surprised it is that borough though – they of the gerrymandering, council tenant social cleansing, and pig-trough politics. Sorry it’s a long response, but these are complex issues, and go to the heart of the society we live in.

    1. wildswimmerpete

      I see the increased use of crowdfunding is basically the “trickle up” of money to the rich from the not-so-well-off. Basically we are expected to pay again for things that the State should provide. Things already paid for by our taxes and NI contributions.

    2. Mr.Angry

      Florence brilliant response and so true, I just flew of the handle after reading the blog it’s heart breaking.

      1. Tony Dean

        Mike you really have not understood my reasons.
        It would be a request for IDS to stop killing people.

  6. Jim Round

    I have worked with the homeless and unfortunately the perils of drink are all to real.
    There is no real support or solutions for a small percentage, these are the people you regularly see in town centres with a can in hand at 10am.
    The problem lies in the failiure to find a solution, on both sides.
    What can be done?

    1. Angela

      Well I’m fairly sure that the small percentage who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse would be better served by having a home, medical treatment and food to eat than being froze or starved to death.

      1. Jim Round

        Problem there is that in most cases it has been tried with little success.
        In most town and city centres you will find a group who sit about drinking.
        It is all they know and like some who have become institutionalised by prison, there is rarely a way out.
        The majority of homeless keep themselves to themselves and hope that one day their lives will take a turn for the better.

  7. mohandeer

    Some of the homeless are addicts or drinkers, but that was more true in 2002. Since then we have had vindictive governments in power who have pursued policies which have caused homelessness on a massive scale and these people do not deserve to be branded as have the disabled and jobless, which in itself was a disgrace. The current government is very good at catchy phrases to denigrate and castigate the unfortunates in our society whom they have driven to destitution, but this has to be an all time low even for the nasty party.

  8. Dave

    This looks a bit like IDS again. I hope he’ll tell the tories to stop begging from tax dodgers, multinationals, hedge funders and the usual super rich when they need more money.

  9. Bumblebee

    Me and a pal gave a homeless man 5.00 quid each outside a bar one night, the said homeless man then went into the said bar and bought a 9.99. bottle of wine with it never gave anything since and i did give every day

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s why it’s better to go and buy a sandwich and a non-alcoholic drink and give those to people, rather than just handing over money.

  10. RachM

    I was homeless 20 years ago & had to beg once for money for food as someone stole my purse & the dss didn’t believe me. I always remember the kind man who gave me £5, that lasted me a week back then! Now I’m still not well off but anything I have I’ll share with anyone on the streets be it food for their dog (company is really important) or half my sandwich! Why not? It could make someone’s day

  11. christ

    It’s easy to fall into drug dependency or alcoholism for people on the streets, it helps them not feel the cold and gives them a little escape from their reality. Which as you can imagine is pretty dismal, Im not going to deny them that. So what if the guy you gave money to bought drink, maybe as a alcoholic you saved his life that night, an alcoholic can’t just stop drinking, they can have fits.
    There are many layers to people and the predicament they find themselves in. It’s wrong to judge them or lump them all in as one, theyre individual human beings, with feelings and if the most we can do is hand over a few quid now and then, then so be it. It doesn’t hurt and it won’t bankrupt you.
    Even though it doesn’t solve the problem of homelessness in the 21st century, which, with all of the wealth in the world there shouldn’t be. Giving a bit helps a lot. They don’t seem to have a poster for all of the (profit driven) charities that accost us daily for our coffers

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