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Sunday, December 22, 2002

In an interview given to the Sunday Times; John Bird, The Founder of the Big Issue streetpaper, has accused people who give money to the homeless on the streets of being misguided + doing more harm than good.

He was equally challenging of well-intentioned do-gooders when he spoke at the Oxford Earth Summit in April 2002.

Key quotes from his Oxford Earth Summit talk entitled "Self-help and society" (listen to the MP3) included...

* "I was astonished at the lack of opportunity for them to get out of poverty and stand on their own two feet."

* "We are interested in you winning control of your lives rather than relying, like pigeons, on being fed by others."

* "We have to change the way in which we give, we have to change the way in which we connect with society."

While we're on the topic of homelessness you might be interested to have a look at the stats on the back-grounds of homeless people released by the Nashville Metro Health Dept and posted on The Homeless Guy blog (12/12/02).