The story attached to this Artwork my mate done in Auld Reekie warms my heart.
But I know what you mean about the old homeless guys, I've no idea where they've gone.
I knew of one old fella I'd see on Calton Hill anytime I was visiting my sister (I think he 'lived' in the bushes) but that was about a decade ago. My sister lived nearby and would take food to him. We knew he was in genuine need but it's very difficult to discern these days.
The guy you may be referring to would be Beaverman? Guy with a beard and a long, matted Rasta hairdo? This guy wasn't particularly old, though. And he's not to be confused with the other Rastaman, Arthur, the quiet giant who stood over the heat exchangers outside John Lewis. I never saw either of these men tap money, though I know they were both well looked after by passing public who had come to know them. Rastaman had a breakdown in the early '80s when a relationship collapsed and he found himself on the streets.
There was also 'Shamblin' Man' and a little old guy who ran about with a lumberjack jacket and a stetson, and two dummy pistols which he'd point at folk and go 'Psheew, psheew'!!
Here's a link you might like. Glasgow and Aaeberdeeen are featured, too.