The Booth Centre is backing a new anti-begging campaign in Manchester which urges members of the public to give to charities rather than giving to people begging on the streets. The vast majority of people who beg are not homeless and most of the money they recieve will be spent on drugs or alcohol. The more money they get the larger their habit becomes and the harder it is for them to move away from this lifestyle which destroys people's health and their self esteem. Even if people are sleeping rough they can claim benefits and you do not pay for hostels with cash, they are paid for through Housing Benefit - so if people tell you that they just need some money to get into a hostel for the night, it just isn't true.
The Manchester Evening News covered the story this week
You can listen to Sam Walker's BBC Radio Manchester phone in from Thursday 16th May http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p017mb9h