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How can I (or anybody) help people begging for money on streets?

I am a college student and want a idea that i can spread among educated people about how they can help people(beggars) and improve their life. We(my team) are thinking of organising a social event with a aim of helping street beggars by making them aware and planning out a solution to tell people how they can contribute.Its going to happen in India.

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    Sep 10 2013: Several people in the thread below have mentioned that the situation may be very different in different places. As Greg wrote below, in many locations clean water and hygienic food are not the issue. But mental health issues are a major challenge within the homeless population, and escape from abusive homes a major factor for homeless women and children. Both these situation call for intervention, in my opinion. There are some too who choose the vagabond life, even though they have places they would be taken in.

    In my city, and perhaps others, there is a local newspaper that is vended entirely by "homeless" people. I put homeless in quotation marks, because the vendors include people who would be homeless were it not for the availability of shelters and very low cost subsidized housing.

    Any homeless person who wants a job of selling the paper gets five free papers to sell for $2 each and thereafter can buy papers for 60 cents each and sell them for $2.

    The vendors must agree to a few conditions. One is that they cannot stake out a place to sell from where another vendor is already situation. There is a regular vendor, for example, in front of the drug store and a different one in front of the grocery store.

    Another rule is that they cannot also ask for spare change at the same time they are on the job. And they must behave in law-abiding and courteous ways, of course. They are trained in how to approach customers. For example, if you don't buy the paper, they still say "Have a nice day."

    They police each other at their work in the sense that they report each other.
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      Sep 11 2013: How you doing Fritz? I do understand and realize the good value/point in this newspaper ...thing (writers block)? However, do you believe there is something more that can be done? The extra mile. Do you believe this is the only or maximum capabilities the unemployed/homeless people can do? I strongly believe the missing variable to the problem is the lack of opportunities and not the mental health condition of those who are unemployed/homeless. I'm not claiming you do this but when I look at a homeless or unemployed person I do not stereotype them as mentally ill, mentally challenged, or lazy people. I strongly believe they are all capable of helping humanity in some form or another. What is the newspaper about exactly? I imagine the best thing the paper could be about is how to grow food, building and designing a home, how to BUILD alternative energy sources, and ...anything that could improve their lives without relying on others for an opportunity. This brings me to conclude are we ever REALLY independent? Not at all in todays society, anywhere and we will never be BUT we can only pave a better path than what is present with tools/technology. Educate. We should all never stop learning at any age or amount of experience and an opportunity alone (to learn) should never be suppressed or competed for in any shape or form.
      • Sep 11 2013: It is not that this is the only or maximum capability of homeless. Many of them might prove to be more talented than us if they get same opportunity like we did.Newspaper selling is a good starting and following this way we can create many many opportunities for them :)

        But creating a new opportunity is actually not that easy.I think we have to make them understand and realise so that they try getting some work by themselves.
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        Sep 11 2013: The newspaper is a normal newspaper that addresses issues of local interest. It has the same potential audience as other papers with a progressive slant.

        The newspaper sellers are, in my observation, not at all mentally challenged or lazy. As Sonika writes, it is a job that connects those who do it to the other people living and working in the neighborhoods they serve. It is a job they can get without an address, an interview, or any prejudgment of their potential and has flexible hours, to accomodate other things they may need to do.

        Do not assume the homeless are uneducated. Some are minimally educated and others are educated. I have worked in educational settings for homeless youth age 14-21 and also have worked with homeless students at college and university.
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          Sep 12 2013: I do not assume they are uneducated. They are educated in a way that only benefits the monatary system. The "reset button". What I mean is educate in a way that is independent of the monatary system, an alternative to trying to create mindless jobs..
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        Sep 12 2013: Have you had an opportunity to explore with homeless people in your city what they have been educated or trained to do or what they may be studying? You might be surprised.
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          Sep 12 2013: I understtand. If they were able to become independent of a monatary system we would all be surprised.

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