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New Scheme Lets You Donate Money To The Homeless Via Your Phone

A new project is currently being trialled in oxford whereby you can donate money to homeless people by scanning a barcode.

The project, which is being backed by Oxford University and the city’s Said Business School, is being trialled by social enterprise Greater Change, who devised a digital mechanism that allows the public to donate as much money as they want to the homeless by using their smartphone.

Those who sign up will be given a QR code to wear which links directly to a restricted fund that can only be spent on agreed targets.

In addition, a case worker will co-manage the donations to ensure the money is spent only on theaw goals – such as rent deposit or documentation, including passports.

Credit: Greater Change
Credit: Greater Change

“The problem we’re trying to solve here is that we live in an increasingly cashless society,” said Greater Change founder Alex McMallion.

“As well as this, when people give, they worry about what that money might be spent on. So the solution we’ve come up with is a giving mechanism through your smartphone to a restricted fund.”

Russell Blackman, the managing director of The Big Issue, said the magazine has also been looking into ways that its vendors can receive cashless payments.

“It is vital that we develop the right contactless solution for our vendors, ensuring that they can get instant access to their funds, even if they don’t have their own bank account due to a lack of permanent address,” he said.

Credit: Greater Change
Credit: Greater Change

Commenting on the proposed scheme, Alex McMallion said he understood that it would be up to the person with the barcode to choose how to display it.

“Having spoken to a number of people about it, some are comfortable with the bar code, and some people aren’t.

“But it’s entirely up to individuals how they display their bar code – be it on the lanyard, or handing them out or putting them on a sign. People can use it in the way they wish.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, has pledged to end rough sleeping in the region by the year 2020. Welcoming the scheme, he also suggested it could save money for the NHS.

Andy Burnham. Credit: PA
Andy Burnham. Credit: PA

“It is much cheaper for somebody to wander into a practice than to go into A&E,” he told the Manchester Evening News.

“It makes sense to give people that care when they need it rather than letting it become a much greater problem, that in the end might end up costing us all more.

“It is quite a sobering fact to realise that the average life expectancy for somebody rough sleeping or homeless is 47. I’m 47. So that really hits home hard for me and it’s why I am so personally committed to this.”

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