Street Begging

Should I give money to beggars?


One of the major reasons that as local charities we have come together is to raise awareness of the issues surrounding Street Begging

Did you know that the majority of beggars are not homeless?

Money given to beggars is very likely to fund an addiction to Class A drugs such as heroin.

Our advice is, do offer food or drink but please don’t give money. Instead support charities in Reading that provide appropriate professional support.


Begging and rough sleeping aren’t necessarily the same.

Not everybody sitting in a shop doorway “begging” is sleeping rough.  A recent survey recorded that most are in fact in hostels or other accommodation.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t need help.
Those begging and drinking on the streets but who have somewhere to stay may need a different type of support from local services.

There is a lot of help and food provided in the town for the street homeless.

There are over 200 bed spaces for single homeless people and there is a ‘Pathway’ to help vulnerable people restart their lives.


Is there help for rough sleepers?

Reading Borough Council commission St Mungo’s to employ an outreach team that monitors Reading in the early mornings to find people who are sleeping rough, whether that is for the first time or with previous history.

There are often complicated problems that make it difficult for them to move off the streets. Outreach workers can’t of course force people to get help; they must want to help themselves.

What can I do to help?

If you are concerned about someone you think is sleeping rough, contact  0300 500 0914. They will connect that person to the most appropriate support.

Do not feel that you have to approach someone to ask them about their situation. This is the job of local services and many people sleeping rough have deep-rooted issues that require professional help.


This event is part sponsored by the
Reading Business Improvement District.