A poster campaign has been launched this week urging people to donate to homeless charities rather than to individuals living on the street.
The campaign has been launched by Arun’s multi-agency Rough Sleeping Community & Voluntary Sector Network because of concerns that money given directly to rough sleepers isn’t always spent wisely.
The posters have been designed to get the message across to people that their generosity, especially in the run-up to Christmas, would be better directed towards charities that can provide the right kind of help and support.
The ‘Spare Change - Make a Change’ initiative is a form of ‘diverted giving’ aimed at encouraging residents and visitors across Bognor Regis and Littlehampton to volunteer or donate money and items directly to local charities and community groups.
Julie Hoggatt, Community Worker, said: “The ‘Spare Change - Make A Change’ campaign gives people who want to help those living on the streets a chance to make a real difference.
“Donating to organisations means that money and time can be used to provide much needed services and support - you can be sure that you’re helping at a practical level to provide interventions and essentials that rough sleepers really need.”
Councillor Gill Yeates, Arun District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, said: “I think most people in Arun would agree that it’s hard to walk past someone living on the street without wanting to help them, but kindly giving them your loose change isn’t the best way to do that.
“You can donate money or even your time by volunteering via one of the charities involved with homeless people in the district, if you are able to. That way you can really make a change.”
The ‘Spare Change - Make A Change’ poster also highlights that residents and visitors to Arun, and across the UK, can report rough sleepers via www.streetlink.org.uk. Using this website allows people to send an alert which will go to the local outreach service to help them find the individual and connect them to support.
The Arun Rough Sleeping CVS Networking Group includes; Bognor Housing Trust, Salvation Army, Turning Tides, Rotary Club, Radio Respect, My Sisters’ House and the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Foodbanks, along with Littlehampton Street Chaplains, CGL [Change Grow Live] and Stonepillow.