Contactless donations for the homeless introduced

Homeless cropped  wide-1

3rd March 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A new contactless payment initiative has been introduced to help those begging in the streets of Glasgow.

An online donation facility, contactless giving points and a website will be created so people can contribute to a fund which will pay for practical items for homeless people such as clothes to attend a job interview, tickets for public transport to access training or essential tools or safety equipment to start work.

Third Sector partners including Simon Community Scotland, Glasgow Homelessness Network and The Big Issue have teamed up with Glasgow City Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Police Scotland to create the scheme.

Assistance provided will be practical and tailored to a person's individual needs. Partners, such as the Simon Community, who work with vulnerable people , will apply to the fund on their behalf. Decisions on support will be made quickly to ensure people are able to seize opportunities to improve their lives.

Businesses and other city organisations will be invited to become ambassadors for the scheme, providing "in kind", financial support or work experience for suitable candidates. Firms tendering for council contracts may also be encouraged to back the scheme via "community benefit" clauses.

The city's Begging Strategy Group visited Manchester and Liverpool to learn how different alternative giving schemes operate successfully and what type would be most suitable for Glasgow. Members also liaised with Cardiff, Cambridge and the Association of City and Town Centre Managers.

Councillor Allan Casey, chair of the Begging Strategy Group, said: "Glasgow is a generous city and people care deeply about those who are vulnerable and marginalised. They regularly give their spare change to people who are begging. This may help in the short term, but may not bring about positive, long term change in that person's life.”

Big Change, the group behind the Manchester scheme on which the Glasgow initiative is based, believe it is a more effective way to help homeless people.

The scheme's mission statement said: "By working in partnership with charities and organisations providing frontline services for people facing homelessness, the Big Change Fund enables individuals to make lasting positive change.

"The organisations stay in touch with the individuals who receive money from the fund to provide long-term support."