A Parisian homeless charity, Samu Social, has just announced its intentions to open its donations platform to allow for contributions in Bitcoin.
It is believed to be the first time that an established French charity has agreed to accept payments in crypto-currency. The move has been organised in co-ordination with La Maison du Bitcoin, a Paris-based cryptocurrency advocacy group.
“Taking Advantage of the Crypto Buzz”
“We wanted to take advantage of the current buzz surrounding cryptocurrencies in order to raise awareness of our own cause,” stated Stéphane Delaunay, a spokesman for the charity.
“We also needed to re-invigorate donation contributions in the post-Christmas period – January and February are particularly difficult months from a donations point-of-view,” he added.
Samu social de Paris co-ordinate one-on-one interventions with Paris’ estimated 30,000 homeless. Those sleeping rough are approached by the organisation’s volunteers who then attempt to discuss the individual’s specific problems with them directly.
Volunteers then draw up a personalised plan for longer-term support, usually involving organising access to shelter in conjunction with public services as a first step.
Donations from the Maison du Bitcoin / Samu Social initiative will be directed at purchasing computers and other digital equipment to facilitate free access to online services for the homeless.
The Maison du Bitcoin has itself already handed over 0.5 BTC as a first donation to the project, for which donations will be accepted up until the 15th February. Donation addresses have been set up for contributions in Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether.
Readers interested in making their own contribution can find the donation addresses here.