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Project Lead: Adrian Field & Carolyn Brownell
It is one of the most complex issues for many cities: homelessness and rough sleeping. In response to this, and our members consistently highlighting it as their number one concern, we created Give DIFFerently.
The Give DIFFerently fund helps existing homeless charities support the people they work with via small grants. Grants of up to £750 are spent on essentials that aid a person’s personal development plan – the aim is to provide individual solutions to their issues. We have had some fantastic case studies outlining the success of the fund, which can all be found on https://www.forcardiff.com/givedifferently/ – evidence that this fund needs to continue.
Through the BID 2 consultation, there has been huge support for expanding this scheme, and we will do this by raising its profile and ensuring we can raise significant funds for this essential cause. We will work with businesses to bring in more contactless donation points across the city and run campaigns to raise awareness of this alternative way of donating to the homeless community.
One of the few positives of the pandemic has been that (at the time of writing, March 2020) the number of rough sleepers in Cardiff city centre has dropped to single figures, the lowest it has been in recent times. This is an enormous opportunity for Cardiff to keep this figure low and aspire to a zero figure. We will work with partners and continue to sit on key strategic and operational groups and boards to support this cause.
We will maintain and expand the Cardiff Homeless Charter, which helps unite people, schools, and businesses to tackle homelessness together. Pledges are made that provide alternative ways to give, such as time, employment, and skills to make a real difference.
We have also provided support to members who wanted to educate and train their staff on how best to deal with this complex issue, by hosting a series of briefing sessions. We will continue to do this, as well as conducting meetings to understand our members’ concerns around homelessness and work closely to signpost them to the appropriate agencies, and support where it is appropriate for us to do so.