I have seen this so many times in my vacations to Paris. Some of these folks have been doing this "professionally" for a long time. There was a man who had a spot on Rue De Lyon, between Rue Parrot and the Gard De Lyon, who was at the same spot year after year. He spoke French, German, Italian and English. He told me he got money from the government, but preferred to beg during the day. He had a flat (also helped by the government) and never spent a night on the streets, but during the day time he would sit on the same part of Rue De Lyon and beg and argue politics with anyone who would help/listen.
He admitted that it was the all the handouts available from the French government that enabled him to become what he was.
I haven't been back to Paris in two years, mainly because of the evolving Muslim problem. I know the streets of Paris like the back of my hand, as well as I know Denver Colorado, (I live just outside of Denver). And these problems are starting to invade the city centre. It use to be I would only see these things up north of the city, when going to the Casino du Paris, or further up. But the last time I was there, I saw a lot more problems all over the city, north, south, east or west.
I worry for the culture of the city, and the safety of the French people. I hope they will not let the Muslims just walk in and walk all over them.