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  1. ITV Report

The app helping homeless people off the streets by transforming the way we give change

Many people may choose to not give change to homeless people because they don't know how their money will be spent - but what if you could be certain the cash was going towards a good cause?

A new app called Greater Change is making that guarantee, so homeless people are able to collect funds for a declared goal they need to achieve to get off the streets.

The app works by enabling the charitable to give to specific homeless people by either searching their name or scanning a QR code and donating cashlessly.

"This will bring up the savings goal," founder Alex McCallion, who thought of the app while he was at university, told ITV News.

Alex McCallion created the app after befriending rough sleepers while at university. Credit: ITV News

"(For example) it will bring up that someone is saving £800 for a rental deposit."

The money then goes into pots that can only be accessed when the full amount is raised and used for its intended purpose.

Alex says people can thus have confidence their contribution is making a difference.

Scaffolder Terry's App profile shows he is saving for a passport. Credit: ITV News

"For example, if someone was working with (social enterprise scheme) Aspire and they were saving for a rent deposit, the money would go to Aspire and then directly to the landlord," he explained.

"So no cash changes hands, you can be sure your money is helping somebody in the long run."

Alex says he was inspired to create the app when he was a student in Oxford after noticing a huge problem with rough sleepers in the city.

Alex has ambitions to tackle homelessness beyond Oxford. Credit: ITV News

"I got to know a few people informally and wanted to do a bit more so I started thinking about this (app) as a potential solution," he said.

"It has already helped people achieve really great outcomes, people who were rough sleeping, in stable tenancies, with full-time jobs."

He added: "We're now planning to scale it up across different cities in the UK."