Young homeless people have fucking cellphones!
Like its a really weird thing to assume otherwise. First off, homeless doesn’t fucking imply that you have zero resources. Consumer goods are cheap! Even luxury consumer goods aren’t unattainable. The bar for entry on an rental is high. Its a monthly amount that’s significantly larger than the initial purchase of a cellphone let alone one on a contract. Also, there is housing discrimination. Even if you have access to the money you still will have trouble finding a place if you’re in a marginalised group.
I had a cellphone while homeless, I had a laptop while homeless, I had a tablet while homeless. I bought the phone before I was homeless. The other two were old before I got them and were given as gifts.
Could I have pawned them? Sure, but that’s not anyone’s first choice. They aren’t worth anything anyway, they’re the better half of a decade old
Like, a phone is the most important part of a homeless kid’s kit. It can be used to access wifi for an afternoon for the cost of buying a coffee. The internet is a lifeline, you can arrange to stay at friend’s or to stay at a friend of friend’s. When you’re couch surfing you are always moving from one place to the next and you have to organise that. Likewise, nowadays You need the internet to find a new place to rent. All job applications are done online these days, and you will never see a phonebooth ever again, so if you need to call a prospective employer or landlord, you need a cellphone.
So why is it that people expect homeless folks to not have phones? Why do they get angry when they see them with them? Does a virtuous pan handler only own the cloths on their backs? Does a virtuous pan handler only ever buy sandwiches with THEIR money (that is no longer yours to make decisions about)? A homeless person knows far better what they need than someone who’s never been, and panhandlers know what they need to spend their money on too. It could be rent, it could be utilities it could be food. Not all panhandlers are homeless. And that doesn’t make them any less in need.