Several beggars have spoken out and admitted that life on the streets is easier and more profitable than getting a job.
In a TV show 60 Days on the Streets, Ed Stafford, a former army captain who was homeless for two months, set on the mission to find out why there are so many homeless people in London and if they are all legit.
In the beginning, Ed came across a beggar named Darren. The man admitted that he can easily earn around £100 ($130) per day and that he actually has a flat in Brixton where he returns after his ‘shift.’
As Darren explained, he can earn as much as £600 ($800) on a good day by targeting tipsy pub-goers. Besides his substantial earning, the man is also on benefits, allowing him to live a much more lucrative lifestyle than if he chose to take on a cleaning job that pays £8 ($10) per hour, for example.
Following his encounter with Darren, Ed met Neil, a father who pretends to be homeless despite owning a 2-bedroom house where he lives with his son.
“I do feel a bit of a c*** not being homeless,” Neil admitted, adding that he can easily earn up to £30 ($40) in half an hour in a good location. “I’m a drug addict – I’ve got to feed it somehow.”
Speaking of his strategy to stay warm and get the most out of begging, Darren said:
“Make sure you position yourself against a wall, put your property behind you no one can steal it. If you get pound coins in your pot – take them out, otherwise, people can take them.
“Then take your shoes off and wrap your sleeping bag around your feet, with a magazine – it’s about creating a picture for people.”
The man then went on to boast of his earning, saying: “The biggest donators are the ones that have been to the pub, they give you silly money – I got £600 off one person. A lot of people on the street are intentionally there. You can earn £100 in one day begging.”
Elaborating on his own life story, Neil added:
“I used to drive for an armed robber – we got chased a few times. The one time I didn’t drive for them they got caught – he is now doing 35 years in prison.
“I can make £30 in half an hour begging. The spot I share down there is with someone who is actually homeless – because I’m not. I have a two bedroom house – you can come round if you want to.”
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