In the lead up to World Homeless Day on Saturday (October 10), Alternative Giving CIO is urging residents to give ‘small change for a big change’ and ‘businesses to back big change’ by giving online or via donation points across the city. For information on both visit Wolverhampton Change.
Funds have already been used to support people in emergency accommodation during the coronavirus lockdown and a recent donation will see screens installed at St Georges Hub, where marginalised men are supported, so it can meet Covid-19 guidelines and continue to operate.
Alternative Giving, which was set up by Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID) with support from City of Wolverhampton Council, is about channelling help to rough sleepers in a way that does not support a culture of street living, which can lead to anti-social behaviour problems such as aggressive begging and street drinking.
All donations and volunteer time goes towards supporting Wolverhampton agencies and charities. The three main homelessness charities in the city are P3 Navigator, Street Pastors (search Facebook) and St George’s Hub.
Wolverhampton BID Director, Cherry Shine, said: “We are so proud of the Alternative Giving charity and the funds already raised and donated by Wolverhampton people that has collected over £24,000 since launching in October 2018.
“The BID will continue to work and support the local charities to provide the help that is needed for our most vulnerable and homeless in Wolverhampton.”
Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman, Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, said: “Nobody has to sleep rough or go hungry in Wolverhampton.
“Our work during the coronavirus crisis has built on the collaborative, partnership working approach to services for homeless individuals and rough sleepers in Wolverhampton.
“We want to identify those truly vulnerable people that need our help and are living in the street in desperate conditions. We also want to tackle aggressive street begging.
“Alternative Giving is not about driving homeless people out of the City of Wolverhampton to another location, it is about channelling help to rough sleepers in a way which does not support a culture of street living but rather helps vulnerable individuals get off the streets.
“Our key homelessness agencies reinforce this approach as being more beneficial to the homeless than giving directly to people on the streets.
“Businesses can also make a real difference to the homeless, while at the same time making City of Wolverhampton a better place to visit and work.”