Local charities are asking people to help rough sleepers by donating to recognised organisations and not giving on the street.
The Make Change Count campaign is all about getting the right help at the right time for those who are sleeping on our streets.
Brighton Housing Trust, Equinox, Nightstop, St Mungo’s and Off The Fence (who organises the annual Antifreeze campaign) are working together to raise awareness about support available for rough sleepers and how to help.
Local organisations make sure those in need have hot meals, access to shower facilities, clothing and support from outreach workers to move people away from the street to rebuild their lives.
The participating charities say that giving money on the street can be counter-productive and lead to people staying in their current situation when more effective help is available.
Speaking on behalf of the organising charities, Nikki Homewood, Director of Services for BHT, said: “The Make Change Count campaign is all about getting the right help at the right time for those who are sleeping on our streets. We’re sharing information on how residents can refer people they are concerned about and providing an alternative giving option to donating on the street.
“The campaign aims to help people make informed decisions when giving money or other items to rough sleepers. We are keen to make clear that we’re not telling anyone how they should spend their money, that’s a matter of personal choice.
“We’d like to share the experiences we’ve gained from many years of working with rough sleepers. We know that moving off the streets is a difficult thing to do, no matter how much people want a better standard of living. People sleeping rough are often very vulnerable and have lost confidence to plan for the future because of the circumstances they’re in. Support is needed to help people rebuild their lives.
“We’re keen to all work together to give people the best chance for the future. People understandably want to help those living on the streets, and giving to someone right in front of you is a natural reaction. But there can be better ways to help and we’re asking people to think about how they can really make their change count.”
Donate today by texting UMCC17 £3 to 70070 or go to http://just.ly/makechangecount17
The campaign is supported Brighton & Hove City Council and Sussex Police.