Change is more than coins – think before you give
We want to encourage people to 'Think before they give'. We want to help rough sleepers get off the streets for good and show people that loose change isn't the way to do it. Instead of giving change, we are asking people to refer rough sleepers to StreetLink so they can get the help they need for a more secure future.
For many, its difficult to walk past someone in need and not offer some kind of help but money which is given with the best of intentions can sometimes be used to feed serious drug and alcohol habits which are dangerous for physical and mental health. It can also mean that people who are genuinely homeless struggle to find and stay in accommodation because of their continued substance misuse.
Also, though not all situations are the same, in some cases the people you see begging on the streets are not homeless; they are in accommodation, receiving support and benefits.
We can't tell people what to do with their money or how they can support the city's vulnerable people. We just ask people to consider that whilst it might seem money can help a street beggar for that moment, instead, reporting them to the street homeless outreach team (via StreetLink) can offer hope for a lifetime.
With the information people provide us through StreetLink, the outreach team can locate and support someone who might be new to the streets and not previously known to us, or provide us with an updated location for someone we've already worked with. With your help we can get to the root causes of why they are there, enable appropriate accommodation and support, and help them on to a more secure future.
If you are worried about someone sleeping rough, we are urging you to make a simple referral to Gloucestershire's street homeless outreach team via www.streetlink.org.uk or by downloading the Streetlink app from the app store, or you can call 0300 500 0914.
It's really important you report as much information as possible via StreetLink. An exact location and a detailed description can help us take action fast - getting vulnerable people the support they need, when they need it.
If you would like to give money, make your change count by donating it to an established homeless charity who can help rough sleepers get the help they need for a more secure future. If you are interested in volunteering or fundraising with charities who help the homeless, contact the City Council and we can put you in touch with local charities.
Anti-social behaviour can be reported via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01452 396396.
This campaign is part of the wider My Gloucester campaign. More information coming soon!
Street Aware Project
Street Aware is our "engage, support, enforce" approach. Street Aware began in 2015 and is the name for our work, with partner agencies, which fulfills our Safe & Attractive Streets Policy.
We are committed to continuing with Street Aware and it corresponds with our latest 'Change is more than coins' campaign.
What are we doing?
We have developed some visuals which are placed around the city to help encourage people to 'Think before they give'. There are two posters which offer information on how to refer rough sleepers to StreetLink and encourage those who wish to give money, to donate to an established homeless charity. You can view these here and here.
You will also see a poster which displays a variety of help available to those sleeping rough. You can see this here.
We are joining up with businesses around the city to help keep our streets safe. This includes helping rough sleepers to get off the streets and back to a healthy lifestyle and to report any antisocial behaviour they may see.
Businesses that pledge their support for the campaign, agree to let us know about anyone they see sleeping rough so we can get them the help they need. They also agree to tell us about any antisocial behaviour taking place in the city so we can investigate and put a stop to unruly behaviour. By working together, we can make our streets safer for everyone.
Businesses pledging the campaign will display a 'We are street aware' sticker in their window. If you would like to pledge your support please contact email@example.com for an information pack.