Spare change or real change?

Homelessness, rough sleeping and begging are growing problems both locally and nationally.

In recent weeks, many of you have commented here or tweeted @ChelmsCouncil to express your concerns about rising numbers of people begging on the streets in Chelmsford.
We’re working with CHESS Homeless, Essex Police, Open Road and other local and national agencies to deal with the problem. In an area the size of Chelmsford city centre, it would be very unusual for someone to be begging or sleeping in Chelmsford city centre without being known to and in contact with us.

Shelter, food, clothing, hygiene facilities and counselling are all available. CHESS’ change programme helps people into long-term accommodation, treatment and employment. Outreach workers are in the city centre and at CHESS’ shelter every night, offering assistance.

CHESS Homeless

Sadly, getting someone off the streets can be a very complex process - if it was simply a matter of providing accommodation, nobody would be living on the street. Many people who beg are affected by complex issues, which can include addiction, and these can keep them on the streets despite outreach workers and staff trying to engage with them on a regular basis.

This doesn’t mean that public services stop trying to help. Today CHESS Homeless, Chelmsford’s local homelessness charity and one of our main partners in working with rough sleepers, launches its Spare Change or Real Change campaign with the support of Chelmsford City Council.

To find out how you can help, please visit You can also pick up a leaflet in your local library or at the Civic Centre, or download it through the link above.

CHESS Homeless

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