Homeless charity warns not to give money to beggars

Homeless charity warns not to give money to beggarsOne might feel that giving something to beggars will mean a warm gesture but not for the beggars, a homelessness charity has warned.

The Thames Reach organization said that street beggars will only go and spend the money on drugs.

Its staff stated that beggars harm themselves more when anyone moved by seasonal generosity hands over cash to a beggar.

In a decade-long series of appeals from voluntary groups and officialdom aimed at preventing the kind-hearted from giving money to beggars, the charity's call against handing money out to apparently destitute street sleepers is the latest.

Encouragement of begging by people giving money to vagrants was asked to be stopped completely by Labour's former homelessness tsar Louise Casey.

People have been pressed for not to give any money by both Whitehall and Westminster council, which has a majority of London beggars on its streets.

Most people who beg on the streets have some accommodation to go to, Thames Reach, a large-scale organization with more than 350 staff.

Its spokesman Mike Nicholas said, "Giving to people who beg is not a benign act. It can have fatal consequences."

Figures collected last summer from 70 councils in the biggest cities, including London, showed that there were only 440 rough sleepers on an average night.