Westminster Council have launched their Hidden Network campaign in a bid to end rough sleeping in Westminster.
The campaign encourages people to give to a network of charities specialised in helping rough sleepers to turn their lives around.
A key message of the campaign is that giving money to rough sleepers – while well-intentioned – often has the effect of keeping people on the streets.
A hidden network of dedicated professionals and volunteers provide services such as counselling, befriending and addiction recovery, and they help with securing long-term employment and accommodation.
The network’s partners are:
- Turning Point
- The Connection at St Martin’s
- St Mungo’s
- The Passage
- Look Ahead
- West London Mission
- Westminster City Council’s specialised services.
Westminster Council are encouraging people to CHAT, APP, TAP:
CHAT – Acknowledging someone who is sleeping rough can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It could be a smile or a wave or, if you feel comfortable, say ‘hello’ and have a conversation. They all play a major part in improving someone’s self-esteem and helping them feel less alone.
APP – If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough please alert StreetLink using their app, or via the StreetLink website. Your alert will help local outreach teams try to connect with those you are worried about.
TAP – Over the coming months you will see tap machines appear across Westminster. Use your contactless card to give directly to registered charities and local services, wherever you see a giving point. Donating money this way helps the network to engage directly with people sleeping rough, providing long term support that will help rebuild people’s lives.
The Paddington BID Community Safety Team continue to work with Westminster to help solve the problem of homelessness and are trained in using the advice and services available to help people on the street.
If you are a shop or high street business who would be interested in installing a special contactless card reader where people can tap to donate. Please contact us email@example.com/wordpress
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