The scheme aims to tackle poverty in a way that will eliminate the need for begging
People will be able to use contactless and online donations to help those on the streets of Glasgow thanks to new Street Change Giving scheme run by city council. The money will go to a fund to provide help such as clothes to attend job interviews, travel costs or training to help find work.
The scheme is based on similar initiatives in cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, and involves Simon Community Scotland, Glasgow Homelessness Network, The Big Issue, Chamber of Commerce and Police Scotland. People who have previously lived on the streets will be also be involved both with the creation of the scheme and deciding how grants get allocated.
Charities already aiding the homeless will be able to apply for the fund, and the scheme will also invite local businesses to help out either “in kind” financially, or through providing work experience opportunities.
Councillor Allan Casey, Begging Strategy Group chairman, 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.
“The new alternative giving scheme will offer the public a new way to help, which aims to deliver long term change for individuals – giving them personalised practical support to improve their lives by pursuing positive paths.“Not everyone who begs is homeless, but this scheme will operate in tandem with existing services in the city such as the new roving Digital Inclusion Officer, the Housing First Scheme and homelessness services.
“We aim to remove barriers preventing people from rising out of poverty and no longer having to participate in begging.”