Homeless people

Whaddya got in mind? said xp+10K in his typical, cowardly, noncommittal fashion. :wink:

I’d like to know what is culturally acceptable regarding giving something to the homeless here. Back home, they get in your face demanding “spare change” (of course, if you only gave them change, they’d scream about not giving them enough).

Here, I’ve seen a VERY elderly woman, many mornings when I go to work, sprawled over a scooter or otherwise collapsed against something. I am not sure whether she is just getting out of her apartment, or if she has no place to stay. I’d like to give her a jacket or something; she looks like she could use it, especially as things are starting to get chilly in the mornings. On the other hand, I don’t want to offend her if she’s not desperate, and is just getting outside.

I’ve seen the beggars in the night market, and they actually do pretty well, so I’m sure she could get money if she does need it.

Then of course there’s Otis, who sits outside the 7-11 some days with a bag holding whatever alcohol he’s managed to scrounge up today. Oh well. He’s a lot nicer than his peers in Seattle, that’s for sure.

I thought the beggars in the Night Markets were organized. They are usually handicap and are bused to specific spots by these organizations.

Could be like that Sherlock Holmes story where people are actually making more from panhandling than real jobs.

Organised beggars are rife here in Oz… a local pimp gets them out and about - they have the standard signs with similar language… the pimp takes a cut of the days takings… its pretty sad stuff.

I’ve found those who are not actively begging may be very reticent about accepting a handout. I think it’s face. There was one particularly hard up looking guy once who refused to take money from us.

If you want to help a homeless person in Taiwan, here’s a way to do it that preserves their face and helps you avoid getting entangled with someone who won’t leave you alone: Buy some fruit and Taiwanese style crackers, and get change for some NT$50 coins. Take a friend and go around the train station or a park at night, around 11 or 12pm. You’ll find lots of bunch of homeless people sleeping, usually with their shoes off. Leave the coins and food in their shoes. Takes about five seconds. Make sure nobody is watching you so that they don’t steal what you’ve left for the sleeping person. When he/she wakes up, you’ve provided breakfast and lunch for that person for the day.

ac said:

I wasn’t talking about them. They are not homeless.

We should pay each homeless person to look after 10 stray dogs. :wink:

i dont think the homeless situation is that bad here, or maybe it is covered up better by the local gov. Back in Canada (Toronto), they are everywhere in the downtown core sleeping on the sidewalk, and constantly stopping traffic asking (realistically more like demanding change) to leave you alone. Thank god they don’t have squeegee kids here as well…in such a small area as Taipei City, to see a few is expected.

I read in da Typo Times that during ghost month they held a lunch for them and less than 500 lunches were used due to a rather small turnout. In Toronto, easily the number of meals required to feed da homeless would surpass the 5,000 mark quite quickly.

I;m not sure how much of a % of the population is required to be homeless before its considered to be a critical issue, but i don feel Taipei has reached dat mark

Well, I found out one thing, I think: There are apparently Catholic missions in various places in Taiwan (there’s a bunch in Hsinchu County). But I haven’t found any in Taipei on the 'net. I also googled for Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, and Buddhist missions and shelters.

I could be getting it wrong, but where I’m from “mission” implies “mission house,” which is the old term for homeless shelter. So I’m guessing that the missions in the places in the link above are homeless shelters. But again, I haven’t found evidence of any Catholic mission houses in Taipei.

So I learned this much: If my boss ever tires of my constant carping and complaining and my frequent bouts of goofing off on the job, I can check out one of these mission houses. :laughing:

There is a Catholic community in Hsinchuang/Taishan run by the Sisters of Providence that does a lot of work feeding people, caring for housebound people, and so forth. I do pro bono translations for them when possible, and I’d strongly recommend them as a good place if you want to donate money and have it get to the people you want to help as opposed to being sucked up by administration and so on.

The place is called “Miracle House” (“qi ji zhi jia” in Chinese). You can get there on a bus from Hsimen MRT if you feel like volunteering. They have an American sister there at present who is a very cool lady as well, and Sr. Ma speaks good English as well.

It’s my opinion that if you want to help the homeless in an effective way, donate your money to a homeless shelter or other charity organization, instead of doling out money on an individual basis. Just common sense - you just throw some money at them, who knows how they’re going to waste it? The old cliche about them spending it on booze instead of food is a cliche for a reason (it’s truthful in many cases). If you do give to individual homeless people, give them food or a warm blanket or clothes, not money.

That said, the homeless rate in Taiwan is amazingly low, at least compared to major cities in the West. Considering the population density, it’s surprising that you only see a couple dozen people in the big parks at night and one or two on the streets.

Thanks for the info, ironlady. :slight_smile: