Melbourne, August 24 (ANI): A homeless man in Sydney earns up to 50,000 dollars a year by begging.
According to reports, Ken Johnson, 52, makes his living at George and Market St, outside the Myer store in Sydney's CBD, where he sits for up to 16 hours daily, seven days a week.
He says that he earns around 400 dollars from generous passers-by on a good day.
And even on slower days, he manages to pick up between 75 dollars and 150 dollars.
"I'd be really disappointed if I did a long Friday and I only had $250," the Daily Telegraph quoted Johnson, who has been living on the streets "since the late '90s", as saying.
"I knock off when I feel like it, or if I've done brilliantly. But on those good days, you might be on such a high that you go for a few more hours and get a bit more money," he added.
While Johnson did not reveal how much begging earned him last year, he did say that the donated money was stashed in a safe place, before being deposited in his bank account several times a week.
He said that some of the money was given to a friend.
The man who does not smoke, drink, or do drugs revealed that he was raising money to help the friend who needed a liver transplant.
He displays a sign that reads: "Needing support for major family exp(enses) including just heaps for medicine. Paying up is a big grind. Please leave me alone, if you are the abusive nasty sort."
Johnson refuses to draw welfare because "it makes you feel like a cripple".
An Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) spokeswoman said that many homeless people turned to begging because government welfare did not cover costs, and "for those who do receive income support, payments may be inadequate to meet the costs of temporary accommodation and food."
"Of those who do sleep on the street, only a tiny minority choose to do so, as a lifestyle choice. For most people who are homeless, there is no choice," she said. (ANI)