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Author Topic: Study: Homeless People Spend Cash Gift on Food/Housing, not Booze/Cigarettes  (Read 612 times)

GooooMarquette

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Researchers gave thousands of dollars to homeless people. The results defied stereotypes.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/09/americas/direct-giving-homeless-people-vancouver-trnd/index.html

The preliminary findings, which will be peer-reviewed next year, show that those who received cash were able to find stable housing faster, on average. By comparison, those who didn't receive cash lagged about 12 months behind in securing more permanent housing.

People who received cash were able to access the food they needed to live faster. Nearly 70% did after one month, and maintained greater food security throughout the year.

The recipients spent more on food, clothing and rent, while there was a 39% decrease in spending on goods like alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.


------------

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed, but it bears watching as a possible way to help people in need.

I will be the first to admit I always assumed most would just buy booze or cigarettes. Surely some do, but perhaps that is more the exception than the rule....

NCMUFan

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Though no hard evidence but just personal observation.  When working at a food pantry ministry in the town I reside, many of the homeless were just hit by bad overwhelming circumstances in life.

brewcity77

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If someone wants a good read on the struggles of those on the edge of homelessness, check out Evicted by Matthew Desmond. It looks at the circumstances that can lead to becoming homeless & as a bonus, is true stories from Milwaukee (but could apply to any major American city).
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https://twitter.com/theojohn123/status/1268335482305425413?s=21

Billy Hoyle

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They generally share booze, drugs and cigarettes amongst one another, reducing the need for spending.

I must say that by me the bike one dude by me has is nicer than mine (anti lock breaks, I don’t even have those!) and tents taking up entire sidewalks are incredibly large and impressive.
What, you still throwing up bricks? What is this, a Masons convention? Clank, clank! I need, like, a welding torch to play in this league! I got an idea, let's just stop right now and gather up all these bricks and let's build a shelter for the homeless so maybe your mother will have a place to stay

Pakuni

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They generally share booze, drugs and cigarettes amongst one another, reducing the need for spending.


Billy Hoyle

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Depends on the area. Out here it’s a sharing culture amongst the homeless camps. My wife was randomly knocked out by one who was high and admitted in court that he got his drugs and alcohol from those in the camp where he lived (thankfully the dude has a nice, dry cell to live in and consistent meals instead of a tent now).

There are different demographics of homeless. Among them, you have those on the street due to misfortune and trying to get off and there are those choosing to live on the street. Our population surges every summer with homeless people coming to Portland because of a permissive drug culture (even before legal weed). Especially among kids.
What, you still throwing up bricks? What is this, a Masons convention? Clank, clank! I need, like, a welding torch to play in this league! I got an idea, let's just stop right now and gather up all these bricks and let's build a shelter for the homeless so maybe your mother will have a place to stay

GooooMarquette

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Though no hard evidence but just personal observation.  When working at a food pantry ministry in the town I reside, many of the homeless were just hit by bad overwhelming circumstances in life.


I have learned this lately as well. Bad circumstances, sometimes (not always) compounded by untreated mental illness.

There but for the grace of God....

Pakuni

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Depends on the area. Out here it’s a sharing culture amongst the homeless camps. My wife was randomly knocked out by one who was high and admitted in court that he got his drugs and alcohol from those in the camp where he lived (thankfully the dude has a nice, dry cell to live in and consistent meals instead of a tent now).

My confusion is over you saying that sharing = less spending. 
Are the homeless in your town pooling their resources and buying in bulk to obtainvolume discounts? Or are you saying they're drinking and smoking less because they share?
Otherwise, it makes no sense.

GooooMarquette

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My confusion is over you saying that sharing = less spending. 
Are the homeless in your town pooling their resources and buying in bulk to obtainvolume discounts? Or are you saying they're drinking and smoking less because they share?
Otherwise, it makes no sense.


Yeah – the only way it makes sense is if they are drinking and smoking less because they share. I just don’t see homeless people going out and getting Costco memberships…

Billy Hoyle

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My confusion is over you saying that sharing = less spending. 
Are the homeless in your town pooling their resources and buying in bulk to obtainvolume discounts? Or are you saying they're drinking and smoking less because they share?
Otherwise, it makes no sense.

Many live in camps/clusters here (walked by a a couple rows of over 10 earlier today, it’s disgusting) They’re passing needles, sharing their stashes. It’s a huge drug culture on the streets here and there isn’t interest in getting off the streets. So it’s a pooling of resources. Giving cash isn’t helping, getting them in shelters is going to help.
What, you still throwing up bricks? What is this, a Masons convention? Clank, clank! I need, like, a welding torch to play in this league! I got an idea, let's just stop right now and gather up all these bricks and let's build a shelter for the homeless so maybe your mother will have a place to stay

The Hamberdler

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They generally share booze, drugs and cigarettes amongst one another, reducing the need for spending.

I must say that by me the bike one dude by me has is nicer than mine (anti lock breaks, I don’t even have those!) and tents taking up entire sidewalks are incredibly large and impressive.

There is just so much to unpack here, but, as a bicyclist I do personally resent homeless people that have suspiciously nice bikes. But then again, anyone that trusts their $2k+ bike left out for any amount of time with a $20 lock probably deserves what's coming. I put 2 different locks & an alarm on mine & still don't trust for more than a few hours.

The rest of this is just crap. Large tents are not expensive. And you can buy 1.75L of vodka for like $10, can't you? Even mouthwash (for the discerning palate)... very inexpensive.

forgetful

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Many live in camps/clusters here (walked by a a couple rows of over 10 earlier today, it’s disgusting) They’re passing needles, sharing their stashes. It’s a huge drug culture on the streets here and there isn’t interest in getting off the streets. So it’s a pooling of resources. Giving cash isn’t helping, getting them in shelters is going to help.

The problem with statements like these, is that they aren't based on controlled scientific studies, rather just peoples perceptions.

Unbeknownst to me until a couple years ago, but Economics apparently didn't believe in doing actual controlled scientific studies, (e.g. control groups).

The study that was linked as the start of this thread, was a controlled study. It found the exact opposite of what you contend. If you gave them money, the group given money actually spent less on alcohol and drugs, and instead overwhelmingly used the money to better their situation.

brewcity77

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The problem with statements like these, is that they aren't based on controlled scientific studies, rather just peoples perceptions.

Unbeknownst to me until a couple years ago, but Economics apparently didn't believe in doing actual controlled scientific studies, (e.g. control groups).

The study that was linked as the start of this thread, was a controlled study. It found the exact opposite of what you contend. If you gave them money, the group given money actually spent less on alcohol and drugs, and instead overwhelmingly used the money to better their situation.

+1

Anecdotes like Billy's stigmatize the poor and reinforce discriminatory stereotypes.
@Theojohn123: We are about change. If you can’t support us here. I ask you Please don’t support us on the court. #mubb #BlackLivesMatter

https://twitter.com/theojohn123/status/1268335482305425413?s=21

Pakuni

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Many live in camps/clusters here (walked by a a couple rows of over 10 earlier today, it’s disgusting) They’re passing needles, sharing their stashes. It’s a huge drug culture on the streets here and there isn’t interest in getting off the streets. So it’s a pooling of resources. Giving cash isn’t helping, getting them in shelters is going to help.

You're missing my point.
Even if they're "sharing" drugs or booze, they're not spending any less money (as you claim) unless they're buying with volume discounts or using less. The former seems very unlikely and the latter would actually be a good thing.

MU82

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While corporations get untold billions in welfare, failed CEOs get multimillion-dollar golden parachutes and rich guys pay $750 a year in taxes, we vilify homeless people and “welfare queens.”

They’re easy targets with nobody to defend them.
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JWags85

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I think people often misconstrue “homeless” for panhandlers. I’d imagine this doesn’t hold true for the guys with signs on a corner or shaking a cup.  I have countless stories of offering food (whether it be leftovers or an offer to come into a sandwich shop or deli) being outright turned down or scoffed at. 

That’s not to say it’s all bad, I have a story about a guy in NYC who came with my to get a sandwich and was so grateful and kind that I almost wanted to give him my wallet. He greeted me every time he saw me after and usually turned down further offers and told me to pay it forward to another like him. As well as others that truly were down on their luck and appreciated the kindness.

But as I’ve learned from times volunteering at shelters or soup kitchens, the vast majority of homeless are not the people begging or hustling on the street corners, they are suffering in silence or sleeping in their cars or scraping to get by. And my heart truly breaks for those people

Fluffy Blue Monster

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The idea that they would spend money on "booze and cigarettes" versus "food and housing" is solely driven by the need to place the moral and ethical breakdown on the individual who is homeless versus the society where homelessness occurs.  This of course then gives people an excuse for inaction.
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”  -Clarence Darrow

GooooMarquette

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The idea that they would spend money on "booze and cigarettes" versus "food and housing" is solely driven by the need to place the moral and ethical breakdown on the individual who is homeless versus the society where homelessness occurs.  This of course then gives people an excuse for inaction.

Agreed. I used to be someone who blamed those people, but now I realize they are just a symptom of a much larger problem.

4everwarriors

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While corporations get untold billions in welfare, failed CEOs get multimillion-dollar golden parachutes and rich guys pay $750 a year in taxes, we vilify homeless people and “welfare queens.”

They’re easy targets with nobody to defend them.



Do a mitzvah, if ya got an empty bedroom at yo crib, take one in, hey?
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Lennys Tap

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Agreed. I used to be someone who blamed those people, but now I realize they are just a symptom of a much larger problem.

I’m with you, Goooo. Every one of those people is a human being with a story. Often a tragic one. Any judgement of them only reflects poorly on the one doing the judging.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 07:28:17 PM by Lennys Tap »

MU82

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Do a mitzvah, if ya got an empty bedroom at yo crib, take one in, hey?

I'm not going to publicly discuss my bona fides as a charitable person.

I'm sure you are one, too.
“They are dying. That’s true. It is what it is.”

"It affects virtually nobody.”

“I’ll be right eventually.”

 

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