Homeless backlash – Looking for options

Shelter, Britain’s best-known homeless charity, has lashed out at the government’s new anti-begging campaign, Reuters reported Nov. 6.

The government’s “Change a Life” campaign asks good Samaritans not to give spare change to the estimated 1,600 homeless people who sleep on the streets each night.

Instead, the campaign suggests people should volunteer at local soup kitchens or donate items to charity.

The government’s Rough Sleepers Unit created controversy when it suggested that giving money to the homeless fuels alcohol and drug addiction.

Shelter fears the campaign could make life more difficult for the homeless.

“This initiative could increase the stigma of homelessness and make life even worse for people who are already subject to high levels of abuse and violence,” said Shelter director Chris Holmes.

The group says the best way to fight begging was to examine why people were on the streets and to find alternatives.

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