York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate to establish contactless donation point for homeless

Homeless person under bench
Image caption Money raised will be used by charities to support schemes helping get people off the streets, the council said

Contactless donations are being considered to help tackle street sleeping and begging.

Harrogate Borough Council want residents to make donations at a card machine, rather than giving to rough sleepers.

The council said it believes the number of visible beggars and street sleepers has increased in recent years.

A similar project in Cambridge has been successful in driving down the numbers of rough sleepers, it said.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a contactless terminal would be installed in the town centre enabling people to donate a suggested £3 in a quick and easy transaction using a debit or credit card.

It is a joint initiative with the police and the Harrogate Homeless Project. It is proposed the money raised would be administered by Two Ridings Community Foundation.

Organisations supporting the homeless would be invited to apply for grants of up to £500 to assist individuals to get off the streets.

Funds for the launch of the program will come from a grant by the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner's office, according to the council's community safety officer Helen Richardson.

If approved by councillors it is expected the scheme will be launched in August.

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