Deputy News Editor
A scheme launched 3 March allows people to donate to a fund for the homeless at giving points across the city centre or online via contactless card.
Street Change Glasgow, in partnership with Glasgow City Council, the Health and Social Care Partnership, and Simon Community Partnership, gives people the option to donate to a fund via paying with their contactless card as an alternative to donating in the street with cash.
Five contactless card points have been set up in Glasgow, three in Central Station and one each at the Cathouse and the Garage nightclubs to allow people to donate.
The fund has already generated big money with the Lord Provost’s Fund donating £10,000 to the scheme alongside Best Bar None Glasgow, which held a raffle raising £4,500. The donation points set up in the city were funded by Glasgow City Council’s IT provider.
Simon Community Scotland will manage the funds with payments going to individuals via the Glasgow’s Homeless Street Team, who help Glasgow’s homeless and are funded by the Health and Social Care Partnership.
Money raised from the fund will go towards helping individuals with travel or clothing which can be used for job interviews as well as training for taking on jobs.
Chief executive of Simon Community Scotland, Lorraine McGrath, said: “We are constantly working to find new ways to reach, respond and resolve the kind of desperation that drives someone to street beg.
“Street Change Glasgow provides one such new way for us to reach and bring new options for people to assist them to move away from the harm that results from street begging.
“We are delighted and privileged to host the initiative and bring all of our expertise in responding to the most extreme vulnerabilities of those caught up in all forms of street lifestyles. We know from direct experience what difference having access to targeted funds can make in bringing change for even the most chronic and concerning circumstances, working person by person to find what works for them.”
Councillor Allan Casey, chair of Glasgow’s Working Group on Street Begging, also said: “Glasgow City Council is proud to be a partner of this exciting initiative which will be a first of its kind in Scotland.
“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.
“Street Change Glasgow 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.”