Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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homeless tokens 2

a sincere consideration of [liquidgecko]'s "homeless tokens"
 
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The idea was for tokens that would only be exchangeable for food, thus ensuring that your donation would not be used for drugs or alcohol.

The question is whether you'll change things by making people eat a meal now and then. You won't.*

Many homeless people are simply mentally ill. Mentally ill people often do drugs to cope with a mind that just doesn't work very well. They become addicted, and they use any further resources to feed this addiction. If you give them tokens, they will sell them for money, and they will get away from their minds with the proceeds.

This idea is for a similar system that makes it possible for your donation to be exchangeable for mental health or rehab services only. Everyone needs food. Everyone can take advantage of people who think they don't.

If these tokens are sold, then someone profits only by having rehab and mental health services. If they're thrown in the gutter, them someone picks them up and hoards them for rehab or mental health services.

This would require a system that would allow rehab service providers to be paid by turning the tokens in.

The tokens would be given charitable tax deductions similar to other contributions.

* I really do know what I'm talking about.

nomocrow, Feb 16 2011

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       Why shouldn't we give them booze?
AntiQuark, Feb 16 2011
  

       You might as well just throw these tokens right into the garbage.
rcarty, Feb 16 2011
  

       This would add an irritating burden to already-overstretched mental health/rehab services. They'd fill up with homeless people who don't really want to be there but go along because it's warm and they get a free cup of tea, or drug addicts who think they might get some methodone.
hippo, Feb 16 2011
  

       People with homes may need mental help, also...maybe even more so.
xandram, Feb 16 2011
  

       There would be at least some cynical health workers who would turn to becoming pushers for their patients' addictions in return for taking payment in great handfuls of tokens. Anything that can be exchanged for anything else assumes a monetary value and therefore creates an incentive to misuse the system. Free healthcare at the point of delivery is the answer (or an answer, anyway).
DrBob, Feb 16 2011
  

       They wouldn't add a burden as sales would add to funding. And I don't have a problem with a homeless person getting warm, dry, and clean on my rehab dime.
Voice, Feb 17 2011
  
      
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