Shoppers in Crawley can find out about how to support the homeless community at an information day in the Square outside Brewery Shades in November.
In partnership with Crawley Open House, Crawley and Gatwick Business Watch, Crawley Borough Council are re-launching their diverted giving initiative that aims to encourage the public to donate to homelessness support charities instead of directly to rough sleepers.
Representatives from all partners will be in the Square on the 1 November from 10am until 2pm to talk to the public about giving responsibly as part of efforts to support the homeless community in Crawley.
The council has been working with partners to encourage those sleeping rough to take advantage of local services available in the town. This includes support accessing accommodation, health care and employment.
This work has led to great success in supporting rough sleepers towards a different lifestyle. However many of those begging and sleeping rough often decline help due to the money they raise through begging.
Cabinet member for Housing, Councillor Stephen Joyce, said: “One of our key aims as a council is to ensure that those in need get all the help and support they can and while it may seem helpful to give money directly to those sleeping rough, it does not offer a long term solution!
“I would wholeheartedly encourage people to donate their time, money, food, clothing and hygiene products to charities like Open House as a much more effective way of supporting homelessness in the area.”
Continuing this, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Councillor Peter Lamb said: “There’s a lot of help available to rough sleepers in Crawley and while our main priority is to ensure their safety and wellbeing, we need to also accept that rough sleeping in town centres has an impact on fear of crime and safety. The organisations will be working together over future weeks to move people on while ensuring they are fully aware of how they can access a range of support quickly and easily.”
Director at Crawley Open House, Charlie Arratoon said: “We provide support services for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, discrimination or other forms of social exclusion. Our support service is available to anyone in need.
“This event will help inform people about the level of help available locally and how they can give responsibly.”
For more information about Crawley Open House visit http://www.crawleyopenhouse.co.uk