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Should we give homeless people money?

Should we give homeless people money?

The question of “should I give money?” is really is a choice that you need to make for yourself. However, if you choose to give someone money, what that money gets spent on is no longer in your control. When you give a server a tip at a restaurant you don’t get to dictate that they should only buy food or pay for housing with it. The money is theirs and the spending choice is theirs.

If you’re worried about the money going to alcohol or drugs there are a few options:

Give the money to an organization working with people experiencing homelessness.
Buy a street newspaper.
Buy a small gift card – i.e. for a local coffee shop or fast food restaurant.
Use the money to donate food to a food bank.

Buying food instead of giving money is something that a lot of people ask about and it is going to come down to choice for the panhandler again. They might be a picky eater or have allergies. They might have a hard time trusting that the food someone hands them on the street is safe, edible and something they will like. Most of us like to have the ability to choose what we want to eat and when we want to eat it. Giving a panhandler a coffee instead of cash may be your preference, but if it’s the fifth coffee they’ve been handed in 20 minutes, they may well refuse it.

There are help for the homeless to get the benefits they are entitled to, most doesn’t know how to go about it, most excuses are, bank account, proof of address and ID cards.

Below we have listed useful information to help members of our community, and the public on how a homeless person can be helped.

Homeless Bank Account

No fixed address no problem

Banks typically require photo ID, such as a passport or drivers licence, as well as proof of address, such as a council tax or energy bill, to open an account but with the new HSBC service, the charity’s address can be used instead. Contact us if you are homeless for support to get a bank account to receive your benefits.

NIHE Homeless Application

We first need to assess if you are eligible for homeless assistance in Northern Ireland. You may not be eligible if you are a person from abroad, or if you have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour. We will check if you, or any members of your household, have been involved in anti-social behaviour. We may also check that you are eligible under immigration/asylum rules.

Are you homeless?
You are homeless if you have nowhere to live because:

  • you are afraid to go home because of violence or the threat of violence from someone who lives there
  • you don’t have permission to continue to stay where you have been living, for example, friends or relatives have told you to leave their home
  • you don’t have somewhere that you can live with everyone who normally lives with you or who wishes to live with you
  • you have a home but you cannot gain access to it, for example, because you have been illegally evicted
  • you have a home but you cannot gain access to it, for example, because you have been illegally evicted
  • your landlord has taken you to court and the date by which the court has said you have to leave has passed
  • your home is a caravan or a boat and you have nowhere that you can legally park or moor it

Are you at risk of becoming homeless? we can give you advice and support

Homeless Identity Card – To Get ID, You Need ID

To Apply for Universal Credit you will need an ID Card
Most organisation need multiple proofs of identity or permanent residence, such as utility bills, National Insurance Number or birth certificates. Some require proof of homelessness, such as a letter from a social services or charity supporting you.

Permitted list of referees
* Your doctor / dentist / nurse / administrator at your GP or dental surgery
* Your teacher / tutor / head of year /administrator at your school, college or university
* Your social worker
* Your certified solicitor
* A bank or building society staff member at your branch
* Your prison or probation officer
* Your Jobcentre Plus work coach

Examples of identity documents
* valid passport (UK or foreign)
* national identity card (UK or foreign)
* residence permit or residence card (including biometric immigration residency documents)
* full birth certificate
* adoption certificate
* full marriage certificate
* civil partnership certificate
* driving licence (UK or foreign)

Specific types of ID

Getting the homeless of our streets is our number one priority at Belfast And Lisburn Community Project.
Nobody should be homeless, nobody should be given just one chance in life and nobody should have to sleep on the streets in our community. This piece of support advice here is better than giving money to a homeless person to stay in the street.

There is more can be done, do not think someone will do it, you are that SOMEONE.

Join our support forum: www.forum.balcproject.org.uk

Email: admin@balcproject

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