Shelter hits out at plan to stop public giving to beggars

Shelter has criticised a scheme in Manchester that tells the public not to give money to beggars.

The Change for the Better initiative aims to rid the streets of rough sleepers by encouraging people to give to cash collection boxes rather than directly to the people themselves.

All proceeds then go into a fund to which Manchester-based voluntary groups - including Shelter - can apply for grants.

But the homelessness charity says the idea, supported by a partnership of Manchester agencies, including the local authority and police, is misguided and risks compounding the prejudice directed at the people it is trying to help.

"Telling the public not to give to beggars isn't the solution. It is up to them where they give their money,

said a Shelter spokesman.

"However carefully communicated, this initiative could increase the stigma of homelessness and make life tougher for people who are already subjected to high levels of abuse and violence.

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