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Giving to people that beg won’t help

givingtopeoplethatbegThe City Council have launched a joint campaign with the leading local agencies and charities that work with homeless people in the city to encourage people to give to the charities doing front-line work, rather than to people begging on the street. Unfortunately much of the cash given to those that beg on the streets goes towards alcohol or drugs.

Giving to the local charities can ensure it is spent on helping feed and clothe those that need it, helping people to tackle their addictions.  Money donated to local charities, instead of national ones, stays in the local economy.

Organisations that work to end homelessness and poverty in Sheffield include the Cathedral Archer Project  and Ben’s Centre

More information, including downloadable posters, here


Topics: Council, Health, Housing, Poverty

There are 2 Responses to Giving to people that beg won’t help

29th November 2015


Giving to people who beg can help them to clothe and feed themselves, it can also help them to pay for shelter for the night. It is direct and much quicker than going through an agency. It is condescending to think that people on the street cannot help themselves.

This campaign gives those who might normally or occasionally give to beggars a reason not to do so, but it does not mean that they will then give that same money to a charity (local or national). It takes much more effort to give to charity than to give to a person on the street. There is a clear risk that this will produce a net loss for those who are in need.

Homeless people can use this money to spend it on drugs and alcohol, but this is not a simple issue. It is also condescending for a general public who regularly consumes drugs (legal and illegal) for pleasure to criticise a person who turns to them in order to cope with the depression and desperation that comes with homelessness.

In my view, this issue needs to be subject to greater debate and scrutiny.