Homeless charity The Connection at St. Martin-in-the-Fields has hired agency Soul to launch a hard-hitting campaign to expose the unpalatable truth of giving money to people who live on the street.
The campaign will include posters, beermats, take-ones and leaflets and is to appear in pubs and shops throughout the Westminster area.
It aims to highlight how giving money to people on the street could actually be contributing to their deaths, as it may easily be spent on drugs and alcohol.
One execution features an image of weathered hands reaching out for spare change accompanied by the headline: “Please stop contributing to a homeless person’s death.”
Meanwhile, a second shows an anonymous body laid out in the morgue, supported by the headline: “Give him enough and you’ll eventually get them off the streets.”
A dedicated app – created by Soul – will allow people to donate directly and easily to The Connection and will launch later in the year.
The campaign has also been backed by The Safer WestEnd Partnership, an initiative set up to make central London a safer and more secure place to work and explore.
Beki Winters, head of outreach at The Connection, said: “It takes a lot for people to donate to charity, and what’s required is a campaign that stops people in their tracks, making them take notice. That’s exactly what Soul’s work achieves – it brings home the message that giving spare change to homeless people on the streets doesn’t help and can in fact lead to their deaths.”
Soul creative director Shaun Moran said: “Our campaign aims to drive awareness of a very important new initiative in a hard-hitting and eye-catching way. To encourage a change in behaviour, people need to see something that will drive home the message, quickly and effectively.
“We’ve highlighted the issues around homelessness using frank and somewhat disturbing imagery, informing people of the best way to offer support. Importantly too we are bringing attention to a charity that deserves to be recognised for the great work it does.”
The Connection at St Martin’s helps homeless people by providing specialist services to over 200 people in central London every day. These include a day and night centre, outreach for rough sleepers, skills training and career advice, activity programmes and specialist support for complex needs.
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