Disappearance of money: when begging is no longer an option
Who still carries change in their pockets? Very few people. If the daily life of the majority is simplified by payment by card or cell phone, the way of life of people in a situation of homelessness who resorted to the quest to survive is greatly affected, even compromised. < /p>
“The disappearance of the currency is widening social inequalities,” says Caroline Dufour, director of strategy and social impact for the organization Dans la rue. You have to be very patient today to do the quest.”
Indeed, now that it is made (too) easy to tell a person who begs that you have nothing on you (because it is true), the homeless are more invisible than ever in the public space, confirms Elisabeth Greissler, professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Montreal.
In this context, some abandon the quest and have simply adopted criminal behavior instead. to ensure their survival. Disturbing methods which are destined to become more and more common, laments Caroline Dufour.
But the generosity of the people of Quebec has not completely disappeared.
Some passers-by donate what they can, buy lunches on demand; others even – surprisingly – offer Interac transfers.
“But, often, [the homeless people] do not have a bank account, specifies Ms. Dufour. When someone is in a survival situation, they may do something stupid, like defraud the bank by depositing a fake check in the counter to withdraw some notes. The person is banned from the bank for this. It's a classic. This is one reason, among others, why people who are homeless cannot accept Interac transfers.”
Community organizations offer alternative solutions. People who are homeless can, for example, do day work, such as urban cleaning.
“There is something very positive about day work,” says Ms. Dufour. It makes these people think about re-entering the labor market.”
A technological solution?
In China, where the currency is also disappearing, a technology allows people experiencing homelessness to beg using a digital payment system involving a QR code. Not having change is therefore no longer an excuse.
Would this apply here? Jonathan Latreille-Chevalier, Quebec program manager at Mission inclusion,  ;don't believe it.
“We are aiming more for solutions on a human scale rather than technological ones,” he says.
The solution to this situation lies in the creation of links between resources and people, believes the specialist.