Organisations from across Lincoln have launched a campaign encouraging people to donate to a central support fund for the homeless, rather than giving money direct to people begging on the city’s streets.
Named ‘Being asked for change is about more than just a few coins’, the diverted giving scheme is led by Lincoln Business Improvement Group, and aims to encourage the public to support rough sleepers without giving them money directly.
There is a perception that all people we see on the streets are homeless and rough sleeping, however surveys have revealed that around half of those asking for money on our streets actually have a home but may be asking for money to support other complex issues, such as addiction.
Lincoln BIG Chief Executive, Matt Corrigan, said: “Businesses are understandably distressed by the plight of some people on the street in Lincoln and if someone wants to give money to a person who is begging that is up to them. But this scheme does provide an alternative whereby local people, and local businesses, can donate and can be certain that their money is being used to help a person who is genuinely homeless in a meaningful way.“
The campaign is asking the general public to play their part in discouraging street begging by donating towards co-ordinated actions to help those in need, rather than fund an individual directly.
All donations go to a central fund, managed by YMCA Lincolnshire, which will used to help build a more robust support network for those in need.
Caroline Killeavy, CEO of YMCA Lincolnshire, explained: “The solutions are much bigger than small change in people’s hands and the diverted giving campaign aims to make a start in addressing some of these problems for the benefit of the wider community.
The scheme has support from a partnership containing businesses, local charities, the NHS and Police, along with the city and county councils.
Cllr Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: “This scheme provides a safe, effective method for the general public to donate, safe in the knowledge that their money will be used to help rough sleepers get the help they need.”
If you would like to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society, please text JGIV96£1 (or more) to 70070 or visit the Just Giving page.