Canterbury beggar seen in pub minutes after woman empties her purse for him

A former homeless woman gave a beggar money, only to see him drinking in a pub ten minutes later.

Olivia Norris has said the man approached her in the high street saying he wanted to buy some food for himself and his pregnant girlfriend.

Miss Norris gave the man all the money from her purse but was surprised to see him with a drink in a pub later that evening.

Olivia Norris, photo courtesy of her Facebook page.

The incident happened on Thursday May 10, where the man told Olivia he was having a bad day and him and his partner were very hungry.

The 30-year-old gave the homeless man all the money from her purse and assured him things would get better.

However, a few minutes later she passed a Canterbury pub and saw him sat at the bar with a drink.

She said: “It really annoyed me, I actually stopped to walk back after I had seen him but my friend told me to leave it.

“I always give money to homeless people, or food. Anything I can do to help I will, sometimes it’s just nice for them to have someone talk to them for a while.

“Unfortunately it will make me feel a bit wary about doing it again but I won’t stop, you can’t judge the whole homeless community on one fake individual.”

Every year figures for rough sleepers have increased in England and MP’s have labelled the situation as nothing short of a national crisis.

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Pathways to Independence is an organisation in Kent that support homeless people across the region.

Donna Pearson executive director for the charity expressed how this incident is a common problem and how best to help the homeless community.

She said: “When someone gives money to a person on the streets, they usually give it with an intended purpose and I often hear people are then upset that the money is not spent for the purpose for which they gave it.

“If a person is homeless, they often talk about being ‘invisible’ and having the luxury of choice taken away as they do not even  possess the basics that most of us take for granted.

Pathways to Independence work to reduce homelessness in Kent. (Photo courtesy of Pathways to Independence website.)

“A day on the streets can be like a month in a normal person’s life and reality and priorities for individuals living on the street are not the same as for people with a roof over their head and with a regular source of money.

“My personal feeling is that if somebody truly wishes to help the homeless population, then the best thing that they can do is to donate to local or national charities who focus their resources into a range of measures to assist and meet the need of the local homeless population.”

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