Don't demonise those who are forced to beg
I have never been compelled to write a letter to your newspaper until now. I was very unimpressed by the article on the front page today (August 3) as it in no way highlighted the mental health problems associated with having to beg.
I regularly give change to homeless and buskers alike on the streets of Belfast. I do so because, at any moment, I could be in their position and, if they choose to spend that money on a drug habit or alcohol, this certainly will not stop me from doing so.
Please, please consider highlighting the mental health problems associated with living on the streets, rather than demonising these people for their addictions.
I busked for a number of months, as I was on the dole, and it was quite a demoralising time. I did not enjoy it.
I found this article very one-sided. These are very difficult times and encouraging further disparity between those who have and those who have not is not going to improve the situation.