Street Aid - help for homeless people

There are lots of reasons why people beg on the street. Each person has their own story to tell, and mostly it'll be one we can sympathise with.

Many of us instinctively want to give money to people we think need our help, and it feels more personal when you give to someone directly. But have you ever wondered whether you are really helping?

In the view of leading charities the evidence is clear: at best, your act of kindness will do no harm – but at worst, and all too often, your money will get spent on drink or drugs and may help to perpetuate a miserable life which often only ends in premature death.

It may also surprise you to know that the link between begging and having nowhere to live is not always strong. Of course there are genuinely homeless people on the street, most of whom have very complex needs – but many rough sleepers refuse to beg, while many of the people begging have somewhere to stay. Some even have their own tenancy. No one needs to beg to get into a hostel: Cambridge homelessness hostels are free to enter and eligible people can claim housing benefit to meet the cost.

‎What you do with your own money is your business. But if you don’t want to gamble on whether you may be doing more harm than good, a clear choice is to donate to Cambridge Street Aid.

Street Aid logo

Cambridge Street Aid is a fund where every penny you donate will go directly into helping to end the waste and misery of a life spent on the streets.

You can also be sure that your money will add to, not substitute for, the help provided by statutory and charitable organisations. Support workers, homelessness charities and other community groups can bid into the fund for things that will make a real difference to people’s lives; the only limitation being that it must help a person get off, or stay off, the streets.

So, now you don’t have to gamble when you give what will your choice be: Loose change or real change?

Cambridge Street Aid is administered by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation. To find out more, or to make a donation, visit the Cambridge Street Aid website.

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