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

Homeless Tokens
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Instead of giving homeless people money, where they would usually spend it on booze. I propose a program that a grocery store alows people to buy tokens at the equivalent price as money, where they can give it to homeless people, so that they have to spend it on the grocery store
liquidgecko, Feb 14 2011

(?) http://www.philanth...ers-tokens-homeless [jutta, Feb 14 2011]

Automat for the people Automat_20for_20the_20People
redundant with linked idea [bungston, Feb 14 2011]

[link]






       A few different charities have tried this in real life. Have a look around the Internet - searching for "homeless" and "tokens" together should work.   

       [editorial: "homeless" isn't a very complete title - if you can think of a better one, you could edit the idea title in the form you see when you're logged in. Just click "ok" afterwards, and the idea title should update itself.]
jutta, Feb 14 2011
  

       There's a similar system in England for refugees. Another way of achieving the same result is just to give food or buy them a meal. Then again, well, never mind, it's a complex issue about which people have strong feelings.
nineteenthly, Feb 14 2011
  

       Welcome [liquidgecko] to the land of halfbaked goods.... but this is a cliché of an idea. Homeless people have as much right to spend any money they are given on alcohol as is anyone else.
xenzag, Feb 14 2011
  

       Some French book from the 19th century tells about the terrible feeling they had when instead of money the poor had to use tickets for buying food, and what it did to them.   

       Not all grocery owners are that nice. Read Angela's Ashes by Frank Mccourt.
pashute, Feb 14 2011
  

       Different from foodstamps: the gov't provides foodstamps.
Voice, Feb 14 2011
  

       Why shouldn't they spend it on booze? [-].
AntiQuark, Feb 14 2011
  

       You know how many people sell thier food stamps???   

       I don't either. But I am sure it is more than we both would like to think.   

       Also, just buy them a cheesburger. A guy approached me the other day saying he needed a dollar to get to church. I offered him a ride to church and he declined.
MikeD, Feb 14 2011
  

       I've heard too many stories of homeless people freaking out and harassing people who actually offer them food instead of money (even if their sign asks so).
EdwinBakery, Feb 14 2011
  

       If they want booze or drugs, they'll sell the tokens at a discount to other poor folks. In The US, this is called Food Stamps, but now it's a debit type card.
nomocrow, Feb 14 2011
  

       //Why shouldn't they spend it on booze// because those who donate are doing so for the ultimate utility of the troubled. To purchase drinks containing alcohol is at best dishonest: representing a loss of utility.
Voice, Feb 14 2011
  

       redundant with linked idea and so [marked-for-deletion]
bungston, Feb 14 2011
  

       moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
zen_tom, Feb 14 2011
  

       Between the implementedness of the token programs in real life and the "Automat for the people" idea that goes a little further in fixing the "you can buy booze at a grocery store" problem, I'm agreeing with the marked-for-deletion tag.
jutta, Feb 15 2011
  

       hmmm suppose I never thought of food stamps, or grocery stores that carry alcohol... though here in ontario there is no such thing as grocery stores selling alcohol higher then O.5%.   

       thanks for the feedback!
liquidgecko, Feb 15 2011
  

       [-] As several others have pointed out, these tokens will just be sold off for cash at significantly less than face-value.
Freefall, Feb 15 2011
  

       Here in Tempe, AZ it is very common for "homeless" kids (they are actually more like hobos) sit outside restaurants and beg for people's doggy bags.   

       As far as this idea goes, here food stamps are actually debit cards, and the grocery store's registers block purchases of non- covered items, similar to the check that's done on coupons.
danrue, Feb 17 2011
  

       2025 - world financial market thrown into chaos as homeless person's tokens futures market crashes. Financial services regulators in [insert name of your own country] said "it was impossible to predict..."   

       Sadly, it has already been tried, and it didn't always go down too well. UK tried a giving vouchers to asylum seekers scheme and it did seem to end up just another market.   

       For literature reference, try Steinbeck's 'Cannery Row' and the frog/whisky exchange rate negotiations.
not_morrison_rm, Feb 17 2011
  
      
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