Download the full press release here.
Street Begging – Do You Know Where Your Money Is Going?
Dublin City BID launches ‘Change for the Better’ – A Public Awareness and Diverted Giving Campaign
Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID), the representative organisation for more than 2,500 businesses in the city centre, today launches ‘Change for the Better’ – a campaign to raise public awareness around issues relating to active street begging in the capital.
Problematic street begging creates a perception that Dublin City Centre is unsafe, when this is simply not the case. Research conducted by Dublin City Council last year shows that feeling unsafe is one of the most significant factors to impact negatively on people’s experience of the city centre.
BID understands and supports members of the public who want to make a difference to the lives of people in need, however there are concerns that money given directly to people begging will not make that difference. The Diverted Giving Campaign aims to take guessing out of the equation by making a ‘Change for the Better’.
The campaigns aims to encourage members of the public to place the money they would normally give to people begging on the streets in one of forty ‘Giving Boxes’ which have been placed in locations around the city centre from today.
Proceeds collected from the Giving Boxes will go directly to the registered charity Tiglin, which supports people with addiction issues. Dublin City BID and a number of the businesses supporting the campaign have offered to match the donations made by the public through the Giving Boxes.
The pilot phase of the campaign will also see a poster campaign featuring the slogans ‘Change For the Better’ and ‘Know Where Your Money Is Going’. BID plans to increase the number of Giving Boxes in locations as the campaign progresses. There is also an option for people to make a donation by texting ‘Change’ to 57030.
Commenting on the launch, CEO of Dublin City BID Richard Guiney said: “Active begging is a serious problem in the city centre. There has been a stark increase in the number of active begging incidents recorded in the BID area over the past year. This trend, coupled with the serious concerns expressed by our members has prompted us to launch this campaign.
Previous research has shown that one of the main reasons for begging is to fund drug and alcohol addiction. I understand the emotive response of members of the public to want to help people less fortunate than themselves. However the BID team has observed cases of professional begging in the city and other situations where money given by the public has been used to buy drugs. Giving change to someone begging on the street does nothing to alleviate genuine social problems.
I have seen similar successful programmes undertaken by our colleagues in New York in the Times Square BID, therefore I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Tiglin on this campaign. The support provided by Tiglin at street level in providing food and warm clothing saves lives, while their sustainable rehabilitation, preparing people for life after drugs and assisting them in finding jobs changes lives and gives people a second chance.
The objective of this campaign is to reduce active street begging on our streets, while at the same time directing funds to a very worthy organisation who is making a real difference. This way, each donation will have a much more beneficial impact upon the genuinely disadvantaged people in our society.
Phil Thompson, Operations Director for Tiglin said that the campaign highlighted a number of important issues. “Our organisation works with people experiencing addiction, to minimise the harm that problematic drug use causes them, their families and the wider community. Our aim is to give people long term sustainable options and for that reason we are supportive of this campaign. Street begging is often a symptom of a number of complex, interconnected social problems which require strategic, long term solutions, not short term fixes. We are happy to support this campaign and we are grateful for the donations received from Dublin City BID and the people who live in, work in or visit Dublin City.”
Niall Murphy, who has completed Tiglin’s rehabilitation programme said: “Drug abuse and addiction finally resulted in me ending up homeless on the streets of Dublin and begging for money to support my habit. Alcohol and heroin had me at death’s door many times and I couldn’t find a way out. My hope was lost. Suicidal thoughts and drug over doses were a constant battle. I found my way to Tiglin rehabilitation centre in 2009 and that is where I began my life again. I thank God that today I’m free and I’m no longer the person I used to be. Today I am studying for my University Diploma, am engaged to be married and have my family back in my life. Nothing would make me happier than if members of the public supported Tiglin so that more people will have the opportunity that has been given to me.”
The pilot phase of ‘Change for the Better’ goes live in the city centre from today, with Giving Boxes placed in various locations around the city centre. The Boxes are made secure and monitored by Dublin City BID.
For further information, please contact:
Martha Kavanagh / Suzi Murray
Tel: 01 260 5000 / 087 646 2006 / 085 738 6085
Dublin City BID
Tel: 086 608 1612
About Dublin City BID
Dublin City BID is a not-for-profit organisation charged with creating a welcoming and economically viable city environment. It represents 2,500 businesses in the city centre, from St Stephen’s Green to Parnell Street, and works with its partners to enhance the appeal of the city centre as a place for shopping, recreation and business development. For more information, see dublincitybid.ie
Tiglin is a not-for-profit organisation which works with people experiencing addiction, to minimise the harm that problematic drug use causes them, their families and the wider community. Tiglin Residential Centre is a 16 month supported housing programme for men and women with life controlling problems in the areas of drugs, alcohol and social problems. The aim of the programme is to provide each person with effective and comprehensive solutions to problematic areas of their lives through a holistic approach which will positively affect them mentally, socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually thus becoming productive members of society. For more information on Tiglin, see tiglin.ie
 Your Dublin, Your Voice Survey March 2012: http://www.dublincity.ie/Press/dccPressPacks/YDYV/Documents/Your_Dublin,_Your_Voice._Shopping_and_Social_Scene_Survey_Results.pdf
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