Better donate to other charities this year :nod:It may seem like a generous seasonal gesture.
But giving money to beggars as you do your Christmas shopping is far from a kindness, a homelessness charity has warned.
Street beggars will only go and spend the money on drugs, the Thames Reach organisation said.
Anyone moved by seasonal generosity to hand cash to a beggar is most likely to be helping them only to harm themselves, its staff said.
The charity's call against handing money out to apparently destitute street sleepers is the latest in a decade-long series of appeals from voluntary groups and officialdom aimed at preventing the kind-hearted from giving money to beggars.
Its spokesman Mike Nicholas said: 'Giving to people who beg is not a benign act. It can have fatal consequences.
'Many people asking for your money are caught up in a desperate cycle of begging from the public, buying drugs from a dealer and then taking these drugs.'
He added: 'There are many services seeking to help people sleeping rough. Please work with them, not against them.'
Thames Reach said that beggars had many difficulties but they more often lay with drug abuse than inability to find accommodation.
'There is no need to beg on the streets in 2010. It is an urban myth that if you have no address, you cannot claim benefits. This simply isn't true,' it said.
'There are many day centres where homeless people can get food, clothing and support.'
Source: Don't give to beggars, they'll only buy drugs, warns homeless charity | Mail Online
Not that I've ever given money to beggars, but anyway..