Cllr Hugh Jones, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Community Safety and Public Protection, reiterated the need for people keen to help the vulnerable to make donations to the charities supporting them, rather than handing out food or other supplies directly.
Cllr Jones said: “I have urged, in the strongest possible terms, that people do not make direct donations to those on the Groves site.
A number of those on the site are not homeless and others have either refused to engage with support agencies or have behaved inappropriately with support workers.
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“We’re getting reports back from those engaging with the people on the site that supplies of food and other donated items are being sold for drugs – this, obviously, only makes things worse.
“As a result, this means they don’t have to get involved with agencies and organisations – the ones that can provide them with long-term support – and it’s actually preventing us from being able to work with them.
“To continue to make donations to the site is irresponsible and counterproductive, and it undermines everything we are doing.
“Donations of food, supplies, money and anything else are certainly welcome at Ty Croeso, on Grosvenor Road.
“Anyone who wants to help should take whatever donations they may have there.”
“Situation doesn’t benefit from unfettered handouts”
The head of a North Wales-based addiction charity has also spoken of the need for people to make donations to the right organisations instead of donating directly.
In an update on the website of the drug and alcohol addiction charity Cais, Chief Executive Clive Wolfendale said: “I believe the situation doesn’t benefit from simply providing unfettered handouts to street homeless individuals. The sad likelihood is that they will consume the food and then spend what other resources they have on drink and drugs.
“Welfare support needs to be combined with robust attempts to engage the individuals concerned and direct them into the range of services that actually are available.
“Simple donations are highly likely to induce individuals to continue to hang around the area. This is in nobody’s interests, least of all those sleeping rough.”
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