The residency rate of London’s doorways feels particularly high at the moment.
Whether through austerity, the difficulty of getting a mortgage, the effects of disruptive billionaires on certain industries or a simple preference to lay one’s hat in the portal to a bankrupt carpet dealership, more people than ever seem to be sleeping beneath the stars.
One (of many) disadvantages to this lifestyle choice is access to income, with most opting for some combination of paper cup and wheedling cardboard sign.
Spotted just this morning though, outside one of begging’s ground zeroes, Camden Town tube station, was a clever adaptation of Kickstarter/crowdfunding techniques to the still analogue pavement life.
As shown in the photo above, the panhandlers had set themselves a funding target, in this instance a quite ambitious £60, and had been illustrating their achievements in a countdown-to-the-target visualisation in chalk on the pavement.
In a stroke, the ingenious beggars had transformed perceptions of their activity, as instead of scraping up a few 2p bits towards the next can, they made it seem as though they were saving for something or even trying to finance a start up.
Whatever it was they needed £60 for they’d made their total by 10am, and had disappeared to buy the shiny object of their dreams or register their domain name.
Given the apparent success of their technique, expect similar chalk spreadsheets to appear on pavements nationwide.