Giving loose change, or offering hot drinks and food, is a common way of assisting homeless people we see on the street. Although this can be helpful, many people don't feel comfortable doing so, and in fact some charities such as Centrepoint warn that younger people can become exploited when cash is involved.
With that said, here are 4 alternatives to giving change that are guaranteed to make a real impact:
1) Extra Amenities
Have old blankets, coats or any kind of layers hanging around the house? How about toiletries? Providing someone with amenities directly cuts out the charity shop ‘middle man’ and can really make a difference in helping someone in immediate need. Foodinate’s Caroline has been known to carry around a stack of foil blankets in her handbag, especially in cold weather – a cheap, lightwight, and effective way to help. Many shelters also have online shopping lists for the products they are in need of, such as The Booth Centre who serve Foodinate meals in Manchester. Click here for their wishlist.
2) Contact Streetlink
Streetlink is a service whereby you can report people sleeping rough in your area. If you are worried about a person you believe may be homeless, Streetlink can be contacted online or over the phone - ensuring that rough sleepers are aware of, and connected to, the support available to them. Locally, charity Manchester Street Angels also work to provide direct assistance to those experiencing problems on the street.
3) Give to the GM Mayor’s Homelessness Fund
The new fund already tops £28k, and will be available for organisations and charities who are building accommodation, bringing empty properties back into use and expanding mental health/rehabilitation programmes across the region. Asked about donating, new mayor Andy Burnham says “help is better if it’s given via a structured approach, which is about getting to the root cause of people’s problems rather than just managing their situation where they are.”
4) Order a Foodinate Meal
Don’t forget that you can help simply by eating at your favourite restaurant! Select a Foodinate stickered meal at any of our partner restaurants, safe in the knowledge that you are providing another meal for a local person in need. We have already passed our 7,000 meal milestone – and it wouldn’t have been possible without you wonderful people making the choice to #EatMealGiveMeal. Let’s keep going and keep taking a stand against food poverty together!