The vulnerable have to want to accept that support and not all of them do

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The Sheffield Telegraph August 2nd edition caption on p.25 is incorrect. It describes the picture as “Neighbourhood PC Paul Briggs talks to a homeless person”.

It is PC Paul Briggs, but you cannot describe his meeting as being with a homeless person. Most of those begging on Sheffield’s streets are not homeless. They are beggars - although I know that word is politically incorrect. So let’s get the captions right and not play into the hands of those trying to extract money to fund drug and alcohol habits. It could have said “talks to someone who is begging”. That would have been correct. Please don’t fall into the habit of describing those begging on our streets as “homeless” Most of them have a home and the few who do not could be housed if they would accept involvement in the local and now comprehensive support system.

The Help-us-Help programme, City Council Drugs and Alcohol Coordination Team, Police, Archer Project and other charities get Sheffield nationally into one of the best categories for street community support, with a low number of rough sleepers compared to other cities. But the vulnerable have to want to accept that support and not all of them do. Combined agencies are working well in our city to help these people, but those on the streets have to be willing to participate. We suggest the best support anyone can give these people is to donate to one of the charities involved in helping them reintegrate into society. Full details are available at www.HelpusHelp.uk

Peter Sephton

Chair of SCCRAG