“SOUTHAMPTON is a city where no-one needs to sleep rough or beg.”

That’s the vision of a new “homeless charter” set to be rolled out across the city.

Unveiled at a public meeting this week, the charter contains a list of aims for combating the city’s rough sleeping and begging problem.

It will also ask groups to make pledges, aimed at supporting schemes and initiatives to help the homeless.

Businesses, charities and residents will be asked to adopt the charter later this year.

Jo Ash, from Southampton Voluntary Services, has masterminded the draft charter.

Speaking at a meeting this week, she hoped it would become a “social movement” which the city and its residents could get behind.

She said: “This is very much about creating a movement in the city.

“It’s about mutual collaboration.

“By pulling together we can harness the power (of working together).”

A draft of the charter was presented to representatives from as many as 30 “key stakeholders” at a meeting on Thursday – organised by church group Love Southampton.

Attendees included councillors, business leaders, charity workers and a man who himself had been homeless.

Commitments in the charter include working to coordinate support for rough sleepers and beggars, beds and home development and volunteering.

A “potentially controversial” alternative giving scheme has also been suggested – where residents are encouraged to donate to targeted help programmes and discouraged from giving to people on the street.

The draft charter asks for signatories to pledge to “take action and uphold its values and principles”.

It also asks supporters “do something new, or additional” to tackle rough sleeping.

City council cabinet member for health and community safety, Dave Shields (pictured right), who attended the meeting, labelled the charter a “good thing” for the city.

He said: “I’m very pleased. This is about making the best use of the resources that we have for people who need them.”

Councillor Shields said he hoped the city council would agree to sign the charter – expected to be presented to full council in the summer.

Paul Woodman (left), who is leading the project on behalf of Love Southampton, said the draft would now be taken away by key stakeholders who will review it.

It is expected to be ratified and published in June.

The announcement comes just days after the group launched a website containing helpful information on rough sleeping and begging.