1. ITV Report

Contactless payments can 'make a change' to help the homeless in Plymouth

People in Plymouth are being encouraged to take part in a pioneering new scheme aimed at making it safer and easier to donate money to the homeless.

In the past six months more than 1,200 households have asked the council for help with housing, and last month there were 27 people sleeping rough in the city.

Now contactless payment devices are being put in place around the city to allow people to make small donations.

People can donate £2 just by tapping their contactless card. Credit: ITV News

It's all part of the council's 'Make A Change' campaign. The donations are collected up nationally and distributed to three charities which help the homeless in Plymouth - Shekinah, Plymouth Access to Housing (Path) and the Soup Run.

There is no one single answer to tackling homelessness. People don’t become homeless by choice. Behind each statistic there is a person and their story. We have set out to tackle some of the problems that can lead to people being in this position. They are not overnight answers. This campaign gives our residents the chance to help make a change. They can donate money directly to homeless charities in the city and help to make important changes to the lives of those who most need it.

– Councillor Chris Penberthy
Councillors hope the scheme will be a big success. Credit: ITV News

We see people all the time who are facing homelessness, for whom a small amount of money can often make a significant difference, whether it’s to help with bills, pay for food or put towards gaining accommodation or essentials for living. We know there is a lot of goodwill in Plymouth and it’s great that people will now have the chance to help in this way. What we want to do here is not try to dictate how people give money, if they are able to, but to offer something as you say that is safe, reliable, where people know it is going to those who are affected by homelessness so people can make a really informed choice.

– Mike Taylor, director of PATH
people sleeping rough in Plymouth last month
The money will be shared between three charities. Credit: ITV News

Click below to see a map of where to find the new contactless devices:

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.