There were homeless shelters where you could sleep for 4 pennies in a coffin, hence the name Four Penny Coffin. For 1 penny you could sit on a bench all night but weren’t allowed to fall asleep. For 2 pennies you could sit on a bench and lean on a rope and catch some sleep.
Hawaii once attempted to combat homelessness by providing one way tickets back to the mainland for any homeless person who wanted one.
Greater Bangkok, a sprawling metropolis with more than 10 million people, has just 1,300 homeless people, a 2016 survey found. On the other hand, San Francisco has less than one-tenth Bangkok’s population but six times as many homeless people.
In Hong Kong and Japan, McDonald’s has “doors are always open” policy. People, who can’t afford a place to live, take advantage of this policy and “live” in McDonald’s. Because of this, they are called McRefugees.
Seattle has a “tiny house” village that homeless residents can use to sleep, eat and shower. It costs residents $90 a month to cover utilities, and is designed to help them get back on their feet.
In 1975, Jackson, Mississippi had two problems: how to feed the homeless cost-effectively, and how to get rid of the pigeons whose numbers were getting out of control. So the local government came up with a solution: to trap the pigeons and feed them to the homeless. However, many of the homeless refused to eat pigeons. The director of the rescue mission admitted the birds were “tough” and “the taste was strange,” but hoped the flavor would improve if prepared in a pressure cooker.
Instead of handouts, panhandlers in Albuquerque, NM are offered a job making $9/hr cash paid at end of workday for doing work for the city’s Solid Waste Dept. A 16-seat van run by a homeless shelter cruises the streets to offer jobs to panhandlers. Homeless can also call 311 to receive help.
A Catholic Church in San Francisco installed a water system above its doorways to drench homeless people who tried to sleep there.
A statue of ‘homeless Jesus’ sleeping on a bench was installed in Orlando where the homeless are banned from sleeping on benches.
There are a class of people in Japan referred to as Cyber Homeless who live at cyber cafes because they are a cheaper alternative than an apartment. The cafes offer free showers and sell underwear.