Fundraising campaign to help homeless people in York raises just £469

A homeless person in a York shop doorway. Photograph: YorkMix

A fundraising campaign to help homeless people in York over the winter raised just £469 last year.

The text to give scheme, which offered a way for residents to donate to rough sleepers without giving them cash directly, was hosted by charity Changing Lives.

A freedom of information request found that in 2017 the initiative raised less than £470.

The campaign did not cost the council any money to set up.

The funds raised were used for positive steps to help the homeless, including buying furniture for someone moving off the streets, purchasing a television to reduce social isolation and projects to help boost self-esteem.

New scheme launched

Photograph: Corey Motta / Unsplash
A similar scheme has now been launched to help the homeless this winter, organised by the Two Ridings Community Foundation.

The proceeds will be shared among Changing Lives, The Salvation Army and Carecent, to offer immediate practical support to people sleeping rough.

Nicky Gladstone of charity Carecent, said:

  • People in York are always very generous, and it just doesn’t feel right to walk past people who are begging on the streets.

    It can be hard to realise that giving money directly to people who beg can prolong their situation and discourage them from seeking the right help and support.

    If you see someone begging, give them a smile and say hello. Offer to buy them a coffee or a sandwich. And if you want to give money, then do consider donating by text to groups who can really make a difference.

Cllr Jenny Brooks, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “We know our generous residents and visitors want to help people off the streets and into safer more stable lives.

“Cashless giving is safer for everyone and ensures that money doesn’t end up in the pockets of ‘professional’ beggars who prey on the kindness of York’s residents and visitors – and which is illegal.

“Be sure you give to those in genuine need in ways that will have a real and lasting difference.”

Text YORK35 £3, or whatever sum you’d like to donate, to 70070.