Residents and visitors are invited to come and find out more about how to help the homeless community in the run up to the festive season, at an information day in Queens Square from 10am until 2pm on Friday 30 November.
Crawley Borough Council Officers, along with partners from Crawley Open House will be on hand to answer questions about supporting the community through diverted giving, an initiative which aims to encourage the public to donate money, or items to homeless support charities instead of directly to beggars.
Many of the town’s residents are incredibly generous and the council is keen to ensure that that generosity is used effectively. Begging is illegal and doesn’t offer long-terms solutions. In some cases beggars are not sleeping rough and use the money to feed harmful addictions.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Michael Jones, said: “Homelessness is a prevalent issue here in Crawley and the council works with a range of partners to support those sleeping rough and reduce the number of homelessness in our town.
“This event will help inform people about the level of help available locally and how they can give responsibly.”
Continuing this, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Protection, Councillor Brenda Smith said: “It’s important to recognise that rough sleeping and begging has an impact on fear of crime and safety in the town centre. Diverted giving will enable local charities to carry on their vital work, ensuring those in need receive support and move off the streets and towards a better, more stable future, which in turn will reduce this fear. “
Crawley Open House is a key homeless charity in Crawley, they provide temporary accommodation, healthcare, financial advice, employment support to those sleeping rough, with the aim of helping them to get back on their feet.
For more information about Crawley Open House, visit www.crawleyopenhouse.co.uk