I don’t enjoy spending my money, especially when pressured into doing so. However, I don’t mind when I am giving money to those who need it. Today a homeless man approached me and asked if I would “donate” my money to purchase a newspaper written by the homeless. I didn’t enjoy being pressured into giving my money, even if it was for a good cause. The encounter also made me think about how the selling tool of a newspaper might not be the most interesting or best use of resources in order to gain profits.
I thought about how there are so many food trucks these days. Often times I will purchase food from a food truck based off of how unique the product is. And food is much more marketable than a newspaper. Food attracts all walks of life, whereas a newspaper is only good for those who can read. (And those who are interested in reading what is written.)
What if the homeless formed an organization where they prepared meals to sell to the public? -A food truck sort of venture. Homeless people could team up with an already established kitchen/food truck and maybe a third to a half of the money could go back to the homeless. The rest of the money would go towards profit and/or supplies. That way the public could purchase food and feel good about their purchase. Plus, this interaction would be face to face with those you were impacting (as opposed to giving anonymously to charities). This would also eliminate any awkwardness with a person in need approaching you directly. In a food truck setting, the consumer willingly comes to the seller.
A food truck would be a better vehicle (ha) for showing the public the real face of the homeless, and that these people can be helpful and contribute to society. The homeless could gain working experience from working at a food truck which could line them up for employment. An immediate as well as long-term result could come to both those at work and those enjoying the food made. And this concept does not have to be limited to any single city or location. Sounds like a win-win all around.