Feeding The Problem

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2019122620191228 (R4)

Feeding the Problem. New documentary from BBC Radio 4.

20191226

Manchester’s Nick Buckley has a message which will seem to some - shocking.
The former homelessness street warden and member of Manchester’s Crime and Disorder team wants you to stop buying sandwiches and food for rough sleepers.
We know the arguments about not giving cash. That it can be spent on drugs, particularly when a hit of spice can cost 80 pence. But we like to think we are helping buy buying an extra sandwich, a coffee or a pastry and handing it to a person on the streets.
Now chief executive of the Charity Mancunian Way, Nick argues that your sandwich diverts people in crisis from safe, organised hot food points which signpost users to mental health professionals, medical care and temporary housing advice. In short – you are making rough sleeping a more viable option.
And Nick is not alone. Amanda Croome chief executive of one of Manchester’s key homelessness organisations, The Booth Centre, agrees, citing her own experience of homeless people who can only change their lives when they must engage with professionals – as opposed to the kindness of strangers.
Petra Salva, rough sleeping director of the charity St Mungo's, explains that Nick's argument holds up in London and the South East too, and describes an initiative which is an alternative to handing out ad hoc food - No Second Night Out.
Nick also meets volunteers who say they are fulfilling a vital service, and hears about practical ways to help, but the view supported by many experts is that a lot of are doing the wrong thing - for the right reason.

Presented by Nick Buckley
Produced by Kevin Core

Is the sandwich you buy for a rough sleeper doing more harm than good?

2019122620191228 (R4)

Manchester’s Nick Buckley has a message which will seem to some - shocking.
The former homelessness street warden and member of Manchester’s Crime and Disorder team wants you to stop buying sandwiches and food for rough sleepers.
We know the arguments about not giving cash. That it can be spent on drugs, particularly when a hit of spice can cost 80 pence. But we like to think we are helping buy buying an extra sandwich, a coffee or a pastry and handing it to a person on the streets.
Now chief executive of the Charity Mancunian Way, Nick argues that your sandwich diverts people in crisis from safe, organised hot food points which signpost users to mental health professionals, medical care and temporary housing advice. In short – you are making rough sleeping a more viable option.
And Nick is not alone. Amanda Croome chief executive of one of Manchester’s key homelessness organisations, The Booth Centre, agrees, citing her own experience of homeless people who can only change their lives when they must engage with professionals – as opposed to the kindness of strangers.
Petra Salva, rough sleeping director of the charity St Mungo's, explains that Nick's argument holds up in London and the South East too, and describes an initiative which is an alternative to handing out ad hoc food - No Second Night Out.
Nick also meets volunteers who say they are fulfilling a vital service, and hears about practical ways to help, but the view supported by many experts is that a lot of are doing the wrong thing - for the right reason.

Presented by Nick Buckley
Produced by Kevin Core

Is the sandwich you buy for a rough sleeper doing more harm than good?