It can be distressing to see the homeless people begging for money on the streets of London, but please be aware that begging in London is big business. Many 'beggars' travel to London from other parts of the country for a few days each week and can make quite a good living from the sympathy of tourists and Londoners alike.
The London Metropolitan Police are regularly telling us that the money we give to homeless people is not being used to help them get off the streets - it's more likely being used to buy drugs or to fund organized crime, and therefore we need to give to recognized charities and not to individuals.
What Can You Do To Help?
If you would really like to help, look out for the homeless people selling The Big Issue - a news and current affairs magazine written by professional journalists and sold on the streets by vendors looking to overcome the crises surrounding homelessness. The Big Issue Foundation is a registered charity that promotes self-help to enable homeless people to earn an income and invests its profits into homeless projects. Selling the magazine provides an example of a socially responsible business and an alternative to conventional charity as a response to homelessness.