Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hobo Lottery

Concentration of micro-donations
 
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Some people won't give to the homeless because they don't feel the money will achieve much for the individuals in the long run and may encourage others to drift to the cities to beg.

We need to capture these lost donations, make better use of the funds, avoid the perception of easy money in the cities and provide hope.

I suggest secure donation boxes by typical begging sites. These funds would be pooled and used to fund a lifestyle improvement or rehabilitation package.

Every week/month or however long it would take, the shelter would hold a lottery for the regular guests (defined by a minimim number of nights the person applied to get in and a reasonable means test if successful).

Winner takes all - if the person wants rehabilitation, the jackpot will be matched by corporations or the city and used to get the person out of the situation, or if the person is quite happy where he/she is, they get paid out in weekly payments small enough not to get them mugged and killed, but big enough to see them fed and clothed.

FloridaManatee, May 26 2003

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       Blink182 did this for one of their videos. I forget which one.   

       Supposedly the record company gave them a certain amount of money with which to make a video with, and spent the majority of it on pimping out a bum.   

       So it's psuedo-baked. I like the idea, though. It has definate potential as a spin-off reality tv show.
rapid transit, May 26 2003
  

       That was a great video.
sambwiches, May 26 2003
  

       where did blink182 go? I liked that video too.
Pericles, May 27 2003
  

       I'm not convinced the whole homeless issue can be solved by throwing money at it. However, I like the humanity of this idea, so + .
saker, May 27 2003
  

       Isn't this what charities are for? That is, ensuring donated monies are allocated as wisely as possible?   

       A person who believes they'll become eligible for a jackpot has no incentive to do anything but become a 'regular' at a homeless shelter. This seems contrary to the purpose of the idea. While it's romantic to imagine someone in need suddenly becoming wealthy, it's not a practial solution to the problem. Especially since someone who has never had money will be least likely to know how to best use it.
phoenix, May 27 2003
  

       In many countries this is what the wellfare state is for but people still fall through the cracks. I think that [FloridaManatee] believes that there is sum (more than a price of a cup of coffee but less than a fortune) that would allow someone to get themselves off the streets.   

       This is not a bad ideas as John Bird, the founder of the Big Issue, believes that begging generally causes a cycle of dependance that is hard to break. Giving someone a random chance to break out of this cycle would be a bit hit or miss but it would at least be a chance.
Aristotle, May 27 2003
  

       I like the "secure donation boxes" idea. But wouldn't a whole bunch of homeless bums gather around them and make it a rather unpleasant place to go?
phundug, May 27 2003
  

       //Isn't this what charities are for? That is, ensuring donated monies are allocated as wisely as possible?//   

       Administrative overhead, and allocation inefficiency are the key reasons why I don't donate to charity (except a longstanding small regular donation to Oxfam that I refuse to cancel). This scheme has neither.   

       //A person who believes they'll become eligible for a jackpot has no incentive to do anything but become a 'regular' at a homeless shelter.//   

       The idea's not perfect, but the incentive to stay in a shelter is security and warmth. When you're thinking day-to-day nothing much else matters when you're cold, wet, hungry and scared.   

       //someone who has never had money will be least likely to know how to best use it.//   

       LOL.   

       I bought a $50 techno drum loop software package called Plasma this weekend. I have no musical talent and will probably never record anything I'd be willing to admit was mine. A lost $50 bill found by a street person would be an event remembered for years.   

       I could have suggested the jackpot be used to fund a place in rehab, or a number of other solutions. In the developed world, people usually end up on the streets because they are avoiding control of some sort. That's why they're still there. That's why the key is the winner's free choice of how the money is spent.   

       We'd be offering hope, not charitable funding.   

       //In many countries this is what the wellfare state is for but people still fall through the cracks.//   

       Some people are running from bigger issues (perceived or otherwise). Others want a degree of freedom, independence and respect that many modern welfare states do not offer. Whatever the reason, I've never seen any place completely devoid of poverty.   

       //I think that [FloridaManatee] believes that there is sum (more than a price of a cup of coffee but less than a fortune) that would allow someone to get themselves off the streets.//   

       Yeah.   

       When I was young, I knew a guy called Gareth. He could spin a great yarn and we'd occasionally chat and share a couple of beers at the corner of London's King's Road by the fire station. Once I tried to offer him ten pounds for a phone card to call home, or whatever. He wouldn't take it; said it wouldn't make a difference by tomorrow.   

       I have, though helped people out of a rut. The successes always took time and a great deal of aggro, but the biggest issue has always been the seed money to get cleaned up, get a residence and a maybe bit of rehab. For others, it was education. When you can't get that kind of money together you're stuck.   

       You don't have to win the Lotto, but a few hundred carefully spent would change some people's lives more than a lottery jackpot would help other people I know.   

       //I like the "secure donation boxes" idea. But wouldn't a whole bunch of homeless gather around them and make it a rather unpleasant place to go?//   

       They won't. The idea is to hang around a location with a high pedestrian traffic count, but enough room to sit and especially where people find spare change in their pockets. By that token, a donation box is a really silly place to hang out.   

       These donations are for donors who don't want to throw someone a 'wasted' dollar, but would like to contribute to making a difference.   

       The idea specifically isn't intending to take money away from the homeless community. The individuals welcome every dime. The idea is to capture these extra dollars that wouldn't have been given in the first place.   

       ...   

       Some societies believe it is the responsibility of the wealthy to support the poor.   

       My personal belief isn't based around hierarchy or duty, or even money. It's rewarding to give what you can afford, knowing you're doing good and it's helpful to receive what you need. The wealthy can give to the rich and poor alike, just as the less weathly can give to their richer brothers and sisters.   

       There are no limitations, no rules, and no system of account that we do not make for ourselves in the brotherhood of man.   

       Peace.
FloridaManatee, May 27 2003
  

       "Administrative overhead, and allocation inefficiency are the key reasons why I don't donate to charity..."
Yet you concede the existence of the shelter. And *someone* has to run the lottery...
  

       Don't get me wrong, I appreciate what the idea is trying to accomplish. I've been there, and you're right: 100USD/GBP might make the difference between eating or not, getting the job or not, having a warm place to stay or not. I'm just not sure this the best approach to take.
phoenix, May 27 2003
  

       Big problems here... who's going to round up all of the money? Who's going to be accountable for how much money is rounded up and given out? How are they going to round up all of the money? Who is going to install these boxes, and with what money are we going to install them? Who's going to design these boxes so a couple of young punks can't just jimmy the lock, break-in, vandalize it, etc.? How pissed off do you think a homeless person is going to be when they see some yuppie plug a few dollars into this box when they're sitting across the street in the pouring rain begging for mercy? How are they going to keep track and 'score' a regular visitor to these homeless shelters? If there are no beds available, there could be fighting, no?   

       End result: give your money to the charities that are already established. What these people need is more human contact-- not a system which coaches the fortunate to shun the homeless and interact with faceless boxes. It's a nice idea in spirit, and while it seems explicitly simple in concept, it still suffers from all of the same issues that regular charities have to deal with... and more.   

       Personally, I don't hand out change to people on the streets-- where I live there are places where people can get free meals and there are places to stay warm. What these people usually do with their handouts, unfortunately, is use it to buy either alcohol or drugs. Handouts usually reinforce whatever behaviour it was that got them onto the street in the first place.
squally, Dec 05 2003
  

       Thought it would be something like:   

       Every hobo kicks in a couple of returnable containers and the winner/loser of the toss gets the money, buts has to haul the big bag of cans to the recycler.
popbottle, Aug 18 2015
  
      
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