A married man, who is also an avid adventurer and explorer, decided to leave his wife, kids, and home to live on the streets for two months and revealed why he would never again help homeless people after experiencing being one himself.
43-year-old Ed Stafford appeared in his own TV documentary called 60 Days on the Streets after serving as a British Army captain for years.
The man decided to leave his house, wife, and kids to experience life on the streets firsthand. His main goal was to figure out how homeless people in Britain get by in terms of shelter, food, and finances.
As he soon found out, the life of a homeless person in his country is more profitable than it looks. In a single day, Ed could easily make anywhere between $100 and $300 from begging, more than an average Londoner earns by having a regular job.
Furthermore, Ed revealed that food donations were abundant and that he never ran out of meals. In fact, he gained 11 pounds over a period of two months.
During the shooting, Ed also came across other beggars and learned of their stories and lifestyle.
One of the first beggars Ed met was a man 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 round 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 donaters 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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