Homeless donation aquarium

Imagine, in the middle of your city, a big-ass aquarium-shaped box that is see-through. Like an aquarium.

It’s made of unbreakable perspex, and sits on the footpath somewhere busy. Perhaps there are several scattered about.

On the top of this aquarium-like enclosure is a wide slot just waiting to gobble up some coins. It’s an easy target — bounce resistant, non-noise-making, and at a comfortable height for your weird-length arms.

With this contraption, you can be walking past, and with little-to-no effort, transform from a person with loose change in their pocket to a person with no loose change in their pocket.

No muss, no fuss.

Now, imagine it’s 7pm. The aquarium’s got a good haul. A queue of homeless have formed, they’re there for their share.

An adjudicator arrives and counts them up — 40, there be. They hand out 40 cup-like enclosures, about the size of a large cup, and press some buttons on a phone app. The bathtub whirrs to life and proceeds to expel one fortieth of the coins to each of the 40 homeless as they file past.

They take some photos of the appreciative faces to be displayed next to the aquarium tomorrow.

The homeless horde totter off with their new found wealth to stink up the nearest McDonalds.

There are several reasons I want this to be a thing:

  • To help the homeless
  • get the hell off the footpath. Oh that accidentally split to a second bullet point. In hindsight I guess there was only that one reason.

Here’s some design details you may be wondering about:

It’s clear so that you can see the money flow. Transparency, you see?

If you give your money to the Salvation Army, they’ll take 10% then hand some out to non-homosexual homeless, and maybe spend some on cocaine and child porn. This is unsubstantiated, but they strike me as the types.

But with a big fat perspex aquarium, every single cent that is put into it during the day, goes directly to a homeless person by bed time. Isn’t there something appealing about that?

And the money is distributed evenly, unlike the current situation where the ones who get the best begging real estate, or have the best/worst signs or the cutest dogs, get the most money.

And it removes the pressure on these peeps to be out on the street asking for money. It means that maybe, if a person wanted to, they could take a few hours and sit in the library, not worried that they’re be missing out on the lunch-time foot traffic.

Go, relax, sit in the park. Shit, have a little lie down on that bench, why not.

I suggest that the donation aquarium be emptied at 7pm because people are thieves, so the less money left in it overnight the better. By 7pm the business crowd have gone home, but it’s not too late for homeless chow. So the money is emptied out and those without anywhere else to be can go get some dinner.

The thing is likely to remain empty-ish for most of the night and not a juicy target. Anyway, this thing is like 1 inch thick bullet-proof perspex, no one’s getting in there, it’s just about encouraging people to not even bother trying.

I think it would all be nicely self balancing. Let’s say your city installs 10 of these things. If one of the aquariums tends to get to a few thousand bucks each day, word would spread that it’s a bit of a cash cow and it would be worth your while — as a homeless person — to show up for the split at 7pm.

But if too many people show up, the split is less; it would eventually reach homoeostasis. (Or if the Salvation Army had anything to do with it, eostasis.)

It’s important that every aquarium is emptied at exactly 7pm to avoid double-dipping. It would probably become a severe cause of mental angst and getting pissed off that you went to the wrong one and did you hear that Cecil was the only one there down at the ferry and get $700! let’s go beat him to death.

But that’s not really my problem.

Anyway, that’s just something I’ve been thinking about.

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