Street begging involves individuals asking members of the public for money. Sometimes the begging is done politely, and sometimes it is more aggressive. Middlesbrough isn't alone in having individuals begging in its town centre, but we're committed to stopping it from happening. We want to strike a balance between making sure that people begging for money are given the help and support they need, and making sure that our town centre is a safe and welcoming place for residents, visitors, and businesses.
What can I do?
Those people who are found begging for money often have difficult personal issues which are hard to deal with, and are in need of support. The best way to help them is by making sure they get the support needed to get off the streets, and begin making changes in their lives. It may be tempting to give money to someone who is begging, homeless, or sleeping rough, but often this money will be used to feed an addiction, like alcohol or drugs. We need to ensure that you make your spare change really count by giving directly to local organisations and charities that support homeless people in Middlesbrough.
You can donate to the following charities:
- Centrepoint North East (homeless charity for young people)
- Change, Grow, Live (CGL)
- Humankind (formerly DISC)
- Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation
- Open Door North East (homeless charity for refugees and migrants)
- Recipe for Recovery
- Recovery Connections
- The Big Issue
- The Red Cross
- The Royal British Legion
- The Salvation Army
Together we can make the change.
What is the council doing?
We're committed to reducing begging while also ensuring people get the right help, and we're doing this by working together with other local agencies. The council and Cleveland Police have already established a dedicated team whose aim is to make sure that every single individual who begs or sleeps rough is offered intensive support.
We work with local organisations in the following areas:
- health - providing referrals to specialist services to address drug, alcohol, and/or mental health issues, support to register with a GP, and accompanying individuals to health appointments if necessary
- housing - providing help to find the most suitable accommodation - for example, through supported housing schemes, tenancy support, and advice on how to maintain a tenancy - as well as accompanying individuals to housing appointments if necessary
- finance - help to ensure individuals are receiving the right benefits
- general welfare - providing white goods, furniture, clothing, and details of local foodbanks, and help to apply for ID documents etc.
- assistance with transport costs - providing support for individuals who want to relocate to another area to be near their family for support