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I liked your take on this Burgs. I have spent years going round the debate of ‘to give or not to give – is it helpful?’ and gradually my way of responding to homelessness has emerged. I support Crisis all the year round and Shelter when I can. But when I head off to my local city, Leicester I put some money in my pocket – enough for someone to buy a sandwich and a large coffee at least – before I go. What I most want to do is to meet people in the street with eye to eye contact, be able to greet people with no judgement and then when I am able to give to do so, it is then up to them what they buy.
This is never dry but it means that I can’t escape the discomfort of not being able to help every person asking for money that I meet but I can always smile and say hello.