Passing thought

A homelessness charity has been accused of turning the public against the people it exists to serve in an explicit new campaign on begging. Thames Reach Bondway is urging people to donate money directly to the charity rather than give it to beggars, who they say are likely to waste it on drugs. The stark message breaks ranks with the views of Crisis and Shelter, two major homelessness charities in the UK, which claim the public should decide for themselves whether to give to rough sleepers. "I'm very uncomfortable with the campaign," said Shaks Ghosh, chief executive of Crisis. "It does more to harden attitudes towards homeless people than to capture compassion." However, Jeremy Swain, chief executive of Thames Reach Bondway, said: "We could all forever be aware of this problem and not do anything or we could run a campaign like this."

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