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Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do to help?
Remember “Tell them: Tell us”. There is already help in the city at Maggs Day Centre, St Paul’s and CCP. These organisations know what to do to help and will make sure a person accesses the right help. Use the Streetlink service (download the app) to tell us about someone. Go to the website www.streetlink.co.uk or call 0300 500 09145.
Should I give money to people who ask for help on the street?
This is your choice, but Worcester Cares wants you to know that cash is very unlikely to be spent on the things people say they need help with: food, clothing or accommodation. The hard-won experience of those who work with people on the street is that money nearly always goes on hard drugs or alcohol. That’s why we have introduced texted donations under the Worcester Cares umbrella: to give you a way of ensuring your donation can make a difference.
Should we give out tents?
Homelessness is more than ‘rooflessness, it’s about the lack of stable, secure and affordable accommodation. Providing tents might seem like an easy solution but it rarely leads to someone accessing the help they really need. Local homeless charities do not advise members of the public to give out tents.
Should I give money to people selling the Big Issue?
If you can buy a copy of the Big Issue, please do so. The Big Issue is a long established and well-run national scheme. The city vendors are registered and approved, and they purchase the magazines from the local distributor at cost price and then sell to the public. The Big Issue is also a good way of understanding more about homelessness. Big Issue vendors like to talk to people and if you have time stop for a chat and get to know the person. Please note that Big Issue sellers are not allowed to ask for additional money. A key point of the scheme is to reintroduce people to working and help them away from begging.
Is it okay to give someone a cup of tea or coffee and something to eat?
Yes, please. And it’s even better if you can also take the opportunity to tell the person where they can get help.
The person tells me they are ‘banned’ from Magg’s Day Centre or St Paul’s Hostel – is this true?
St Paul’s Hostel and Magg’s Day Centre have over 70 years of experience between them. They know how important it is for people to be able to access their services and suspending someone from accessing services is the last resort. It is also important for the public to understand why someone might be suspended from services for a short period. The three principle reasons are; the dealing of illegal drugs, threatening violence or being violent to others in the service.
Should I give money to people who are busking or who have drawn street art on the pavement?
Busking and street artists are not usually sleeping rough, homeless or classed as beggars. In general, if someone is providing something in return for a donation, for example singing, playing an instrument or has created a chalk drawing on the pavement, then there is nothing wrong with a donation.
What is the role of the police?
All the evidence shows sleeping on the street is dangerous and bad for the person’s health and well-being. The police are compassionate people and local police officers work very closely with the City Homeless charities and the City Council to find people the help they need. The public and local business also expect the Police to enforce the law when a crime is committed. Only as a last resort, when a person has committed a criminal offence, or to keep a person safe, do they take action.
Where does the donated money go to?
The money donated through Worcester Cares goes to the front-line charities who are working with rough sleepers, the homeless and people who are addicted to drink or drugs. There is a 5% administrative commission by the Justgiving scheme. But 95p of every pound you give will go directly to work with rough sleepers, the homeless, and those with addictions.
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