Before my current poverty, I strongly disfavored my personally giving money directly to poor people. (But I unequivocally support government and NGO direct-aid.) I did put out effort, however, to help in other ways. For example, if I had leftovers at a restaurant, I always gave the food to a homeless person. I would buy food for beggars. I wanted to help, but I didn’t want to give cash.
(Actually, I additionally disfavored helping any poor person who was smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol or using other drugs. I didn’t know that there are at least three good reasons for poor people smoking, drinking, and getting stoned. First, addiction is a medical problem, not a criminal issue or a character defect. Second, the majority of homeless people in industrialized countries have serious, untreated health problems. Many of them use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs to cope with the underlying health problem because they don’t have adequate access to healthcare, especially mental healthcare. Third, desperate poverty is physically painful, intellectually bleak, emotionally devastating, and soul crushing. Tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs are almost the only ways to have a temporary break from the horror of being alive.)
If I were suddenly middle class again, I sincerely don’t know how I would feel about me directly giving money to poor and homeless people. I’m not saying, “I was wrong back then, but I’m wiser now.” Furthermore, I’m emphatically not saying that you are wrong if disfavor giving your money directly to a poor or homeless person.
Helping me with medicine, food, and shelter instead of giving me cash
Over the last few years, I have tried to find ways that you could, for example, give me a gift card for a grocery store instead of giving me cash. Even when I was in the US, I couldn’t find a viable option. My hope is that technology and companies have progressed enough that it’s now possible. Furthermore, because I know Mexico better than before, I know of more stores to investigate.
But, that is a major obstacle: investigating. I must focus on actions that have a good chance of success. As I write this post, for example, I am extremely hungry: my stomach is in pain because I need to eat. I can’t afford to investigate multiple stores because the result might still be: no options. Plus, if I do find an option, there’s no guarantee anyone will use it. No one has told me, “I won’t give you cash, but I will give you a card for [food/ medicine/ shelter/ other].” Therefore, I would be stupid to investigate this right now because it would be a poor return on my time investment.
(My brother or my father, Dan Hogan, might argue that they have said, “I won’t give you cash, but I will give you lunch.” If they were to say that, they would be wrong. I’m not going to waste time right now explaining. [Edit on 26 April 2018: Dan Hogan, my father, promised me that he would help me by directly paying for my treatment instead of giving me cash. As I predicted, he broke his promise.])
If you, however, would give me a gift card for food or medicine, then I can tell you which stores I can access. If you find a store that has an option, then wonderful!
- Grocery and some pharmacy
- Bodega Aurrerá
- Limited grocery, but might have other services https://www.oxxo.com
Amazon Mexico doesn’t sell groceries, and many of their products are shipped from the US. Mercado Libre is huge, but it has thousands of vendors, not one.
Maybe I can get on a website, such as Chedraui, I fill my virtual cart with groceries, I share my login with you through LastPass, you login with my account, and you complete the check-out process. Maybe. [Edit on 26 April 2018: I have learned that this idea has major obstacles and probably wouldn’t work: at least not with Chedraui.]
I still have immediate needs
Until I recover or find an alternative, I still need food, and PayPal is how I am able to eat food and buy the medicine that allows me to function. The above tweets show that without alprazolam and modafinil, I would have spent nearly all day hiding under the blanket. This is my chance to recover, but I need your support.