The generous people of Brighton and Hove are being urged to give money to homeless charities rather than directly to rough sleepers.
The charities and the council believe that direct donations too often prolong the time that rough sleepers stay on the streets.
By giving to charities instead, rough sleepers are more likely to receive the professional help and support that they need to try to get their lives back on track, research found.
Several of the organisations helping the street homeless in Brighton and Hove are due to come together on Monday (7 August) to share ideas and information on how to improve their effectiveness.
They will hear from people who used to sleep on the streets in the area at an event marking the start of a campaign called Make Change Count. It will include details of how and where to give.
The campaign is being supported by Brighton and Hove City Council, Sussex Police, Brighton Housing Trust, Equinox, Nightstop, Pavilions, St Mungo’s and Antifreeze.
The council said that the campaign “asks people to help the organisations to help others by giving to charity not on the street”.
The council said: “The charities’ research shows that the best way to help someone sleeping rough is through professional help.
“The participating charities say giving money on the street can be counter-productive and lead to people staying in their current situation when more effective help is available.
“Local organisations make sure those in need have hot meals, access to shower facilities, clothing and support from outreach workers to move people away from the street to rebuild their lives.
“This campaign is part of wide-reaching efforts and initiatives across the city, linking partners helping people sleeping rough.”
Information about this research will be going up across Brighton, according to the council, urging people not to give directly to the many rough sleepers asking for money on Brighton’s streets.
The event on Monday will take place at the First Base Day Centre, at St Stephen’s Hall, in Montpelier Place, Brighton.
It is one of the centres supporting rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove and offers support ranging from hot meals to training and help finding work.
Besides the social cleansing issues, the problem is that some charities have been working with Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) officers to target rough sleepers. Apparently outreach teams routinely pass on the locations of non-UK rough sleepers to ICE officers. The Greater London Authority allegedly contracted the charities under a “payment by numbers” scheme. That is, the more rough sleepers they help to deport, the more money they earn. And Brighton calls itself a City of Sanctuary?