Friday, 23 March 2012

Beggar on a Street of Gold

Like many other big cities, Budapest also has a rather burning homeless problem. To the annoyance of some city dwellers, they tend to be just as widespread in central, touristy areas as they are in the suburbs. And this makes the city look bad, they say. Some rather haphazard measures have been taken recently, which have caused more public outrage than offering actual help to these people. I tried giving money to the gentleman in the picture after I took the shot, but he saw my pastries and said he'd rather have those, because he is hungry and does not beg for money to buy drinks, as he is often accused. Of course many of them do,  but there are often very dark and complicated reasons behind why they ended up on the street. Some complain that shelters are violent and unsafe, so there is still a long way to go before we can say that the authorities are actively doing something to tackle homelessness as a social issue and not simply criminalize the homeless themselves.

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