Rise in begging, not rough sleepers, in Aylesbury

Homeless man

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:47am 22nd May 2019.

Begging is on the rise in Aylesbury, but we are actually seeing fewer rough sleepers.

That's according to the town's homelessness charity, Aylesbury Homeless Action Group, who try to get vulnerable people into housing and the help they need.

Karen Warner, from the charity, says some who beg actually have a home:

"That's not that those people don't need support, but they need a different type of support.

"So we try and make sure we know everybody who is in Aylesbury and so those people are well known.

"It's about making sure they get the appropriate support that they need."

Between April 2018 and March 2019, there were 47 rough sleepers, compared to 48 the same period the year before.

Karen told us that rough sleepers are more visible, but that only 17% of the people they dealt with were sleeping on the streets.

A new scheme from AVDC saw cash put aside to help prevent homelessness.

Karen says that has had an impact:

"We have helped a lot of people through that scheme, particularly the newly-homeless or those on the edge.

"It's more challenging for people who are more entrenched, because often they have a lot of other underlying issues.

"But I would say there are a lot of agencies there wanting to support those people."

That includes a drug and alcohol outreach worker, a mental health worker and a general outreach worker looking after their welfare.

Karen's advice is to:

  • Never give money to a beggar or homeless person
  • See if they need something to eat or drink and buy that for them instead
  • Maybe ask if they are engaged with any organisations at the moment
  • Get in touch with Streetlink or AVDC to notify them of a homeless person
  • Get in touch with AHAG
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