York Street Aid was launched in November 2019, and is a partnership between Two Ridings Community Foundation, York BID and City of York Council.
The York Street Aid fund will see contactless ‘tap points’ set up in the city to allow cashless giving to raise money for those affected by street homelessness and rough sleeping. The first of these points is located at Spark:York in Piccadilly. Donations are pooled into the York Street Aid Fund for grants designed to offer long-term, planned help.
Those who want to support people who are sleeping rough can simply tap the contact point at Spark:York to donate £3 or choose their own amount and donate online.
Money donated will go directly towards helping homeless people in York in personalised ways. Examples of what grants might be used for are:
- Clothing for job interviews
- Transport to interview/place of work
- A bike to provide transport to place of work
- Education/training courses
- Refurbished laptop to assist with job searches/ completion of online courses
- Paying for the use of an allotment for mental and physical health benefits
- Funding to help with health and fitness goals – including gym clothing, trainers, classes or membership.
Programmes manager at Two Ridings Community Foundation Jackie McCafferty said:
"We hope this will be the first of many contactless donation points in York following similar successful schemes in cities like Cambridge and Cardiff.
The scheme provides people with an alternative to giving directly to those begging and by pooling donations and working with the support services in the city enables those affected by street homelessness and rough sleeping to access a meaningful sum that can really make a difference."
Executive director of York BID Andrew Lowson said:
"This is a really important initiative for York and we are pleased to support it. Many businesses are vocal to us about the impact of begging on trade, but at the same time they want to provide support.
This technology provides a perfect solution, allowing people to make a cashless donation that can really help those affected by street homelessness."
He said it was a scheme that businesses can get involved with through sponsorship or providing a location point.
“We’re pleased to be a partner in this scheme which has worked well elsewhere and which gives people another opportunity to help, and will give homeless people another source of personalized support,” said Sharon Houlden, City of York Council director of health, housing and adult social care.