An outreach worker has asked the public not to give money to those on the streets.
Trevor Blaney, from the Pop Up Soup Kitchen and Waste Not Want Not restaurant, has now suggested the council and other outreach services begin a “joined up” approach to helping those who are battling addiction.
Trevor suggests a token system, whereby addicts exchange plastic moulded tokens for things they need, like and food and shelter, after engaging with addiction services.
Trevor said: “The message I really want to get across – and it’s quite controversial – I would ask the public, not to give any money. By giving a person in addiction money, you become part of the problem.
“You have no idea what a homeless person might spend it on, they may well tell you it’s for their bus fare or something trivial, but in addiction it is more likely to be spent on alcohol or substances.
“They could use these tokens at other places where they are provided for, the soup kitchen doesn’t just give food, the public entrust us money to buy tents and camping stoves – all sorts – there is a whole arsenal upstairs.”
Isle of Wight Council have been contacted to see if they would be interested in working with Trevor on the tokens project.