Have you seen homeless person on the side of the road and want to help, but don't know the best way? We are here to help! With these 5 easy ideas, you can make an impact on someone's life.
1) Give out Gift Cards
One major worry that people have when helping the homeless is giving out cash. As someone who wants to help, you want to know that your money is going to the right cause! In fact, people experiencing homelessness are 42% more likely to have a substance abuse problem compared to someone who is housed. The solution to this problem is to give out gift cards to fast-food restaurants or local stores.
But keep in mind, many people experiencing homelessness struggle with finding healthy options. Look for healthy options when your gift card shopping!
Meet Arthur Bailey.
When I woke up that Saturday morning, I had no idea so many intense God moments would be awaiting me in just a few short hours. July 18th was the morning of Humanity Reboxed's community clean up day. The plan was to head out early and help Hunter get the last of the supplies needed and set up the volunteer base camp for the day. Slowly but surely volunteers were trickling in. It was amazing to watch such a wide range of people come together to serve, there was anyone from followers to Humanity Reboxed to individuals who just came across the event of Facebook and were excited to be apart.
Hunter was just about to announce the start as the man you see above walked pass. Whom I will later get to know as Arthur, was asking the crowd if any of us were Christians. The volunteers being unsure of his intentions stayed silent but then I stepped forward. In response, I explained to him we were a Christian organization and during this specific event we were picking up trash in the area. A smile exploded across his face as he exclaimed I just knew it. He shifted his focus to be mainly on me, encouraging me to watch the video “Don’t Block Your Angels” (Which I am now highly encouraging you to watch!). Then before I knew it, Arthur and I were plopped down in the middle of the sidewalk praising the Lord for all of His good works. After a couple of minutes of him describing the video to me, he asked if I could buy him some milk. Excited to be able to help, I responded “of course” and ask if I could get anything else for him.
With that, I ran to the nearest store and got milk, sandwich fixings, and some fruit (courtesy of humanity rebox) along with a $25 gift card via my personal donation.
We met back up at the park where we met and continued to get to know one another.
As soon as I got back he asked me “What is a struggle you have been faced with?” Instantly my mind was rushed with pain left from past abusers. So I told him and he just shook his head in heartache for me. He hated to admit it but he knew that was why he felt God calling him to me. From there Arthur opened up and shared bits and pieces of his story, to which I was honored to hear. His testimony left me awestruck. Never before had I been so incredibly humbled and impressed by his ability to forgive and continue to share God's love with everyone around him. We talked for what seemed like minutes but was truly more than 3 hours. He told me about numerous occasions where God unexpectedly called him to different areas only to reveal that it was God's hand of protection over him. On the three occasions where Arthur felt this tug, he found out that there were violent riots or shootings and murders exactly where he would have been. He shared how there was a time when he was begging that he felt God telling him to give all his money to a woman. He found out later that his act of kindness went viral and has made its way all the way to churches in Texas. Before my phone died, he listed song after song for us to listen to. There was nothing more beautiful than getting to worship with him in the shady grass (Some songs that I also highly recommend you listen to!) Soon enough it came close to it being time to leave and Arthur had one last request, for me to get him a bible. Overjoyed I searched up the nearest book store and we started walking. The whole way we shared thoughts/beliefs and hopes/dreams. Then along the way, we came across an outdoor worship service. Both of our eyes lit up as we heard them sing their first song “This Is How I Fight My Battles," naturally we had to stop and listen for a bit before we continued on. Nearly every person we passed Arthur reassured them that Jesus lives and is fighting for them. (Lord I pray for boldness like him) We walked nearly 11 blocks when we realized we had been heading in the wrong direction all along. Looking down at my watch I realized I was long past the time I needed to leave in order to catch my flight home to San Diego so we hurried back to the field where the group was worshipping to ask if anyone had an extra bible. Thankfully a couple was able to give him and bible before we parted ways.
Not all people experiencing homelessness are mentally ill. What ALL homeless people are is human. Give them a chance before you turn a blind eye to them on the street. A single smile or “Jesus loves you” or "Can I pray for you?", has the power to make someone’s week or even plant seeds that will change lives. It honestly embarrassing that this man who has been sexually and physically abused, stabbed, outcasted, mugged, cheated and lied to, has more joy in his heart for Christ than I have ever seen in my life. Arthur was never burdened by the obligation of evangelism. He proclaimed the love of Jesus to any and all purely out of the excitement stored in his own heart, fueled purely off of worship and prayer and testimony rather than physical circumstance or situation. Arthur’s energy is contagious and radiant. It gives me hope and inspiration to live more fiercely in christ every day. Not to get caught in the hustle of societal expectations and find ways to incorporate the same radiant joy into my every action. We need more Arthur Bailey Christians.
The more I dive into the problem of homelessness in our country, the more motivated I am to fight for the powerless. The statistics above are scary. I feel like it's so valuable to start talking about the inhumane treatment homeless individuals receive while living on the streets.
In response, this month, we will be appointing a data collection director tasked to research the treatment homeless persons endure. Additionally, we will be launching a 'Homeless Are Human' campaign in an attempt to spread awareness of how homeless people are treated and seen.
On July 18th, Humanity Reboxed is hosting its largest event yet in downtown Sacramento. The Sacramento Clean-Up Day will host people from across California to clean up our city to improve the quality of life for those living on the streets. I am psyched for this event and I hope you can join us.
As our ministry continues to expand, we are in desperate need of your continued support. There are homeless individuals that are reliant on mental support and stability we provide on outreaches. More so, we now can help homeless people find job placement services to get them off the streets.
We need your help to keep serving these people.
Please consider becoming a monthly donor for Humanity Reboxed. As a monthly partner, here's what you receive:
Man. Things just keep getting crazier.
Humanity Reboxed had two events planned early this month, both of which will be postponed. The first, our online store launch, is not being promoted. We believe that there are more important things to focus on as a community rather than promoting an online store. The store is available through our website, but we will not be promoting it for the time being.
Secondly, we had our first outreach of the summer planned on June 7th, but the area we go to has been the center point of protests and riots. First off, many homeless people who are typically in the area have moved or been moved due to the current events. Secondly, we have been told it might not be the safest or best option to perform the kind of outreaches we do just yet. We will hold these events off for the time being.
We are directing our funding planned for this event to our children’s ministry. In order to be able to sponsor more children, we need 5 monthly donors at $10. Please consider helping out and donating to help young children living in poverty break the cycle they are living in.
Our July clean-up day is in full swing though. This is going to be Humanity Reboxed's largest event yet, hosting 5 clean up teams positioned throughout the city to clean up areas and improve the quality of life for not only area residents but also the homeless people that are in the area. Check out the events page to sign-up.
We are working on launching a podcast titled 'If Not Me, Then Who?' It will dive into topics of serving the impoverished communities and what that looks like. There is not a launch date yet but stay tuned for more information.
Personally, I am taking this time to try to learn as much as possible. Whether it be about race relations, systemic problems, or how the homeless have been treated in the midst of all this, I have shifted my thought process into a learning perspective. There is so much I am unaware of that I need to be more intentional with what I do and say.
Stay safe. Love others.
Thank you for supporting our organization. I cannot thank you enough for supporting our poverty relief efforts in California. We have seen God move in all of our outreaches and our recently launched Prayer Coalition. We could not be doing this without you and we are so excited for the future. Recently, our Board of Directors had a new Vice President, Christina Nakao, join. The future is bright and we are ready to see God move. We are looking to involve more evangelism during our outreach. We know this can be a touchy subject and can very often misrepresent what the mission of Jesus is, so we are treading lightly and thoughtfully. Your prayers are much appreciated.
Our Current Needs.
Humanity Reboxed is joining The Prayer Coalition in efforts to unite Christians in the midst of these unsettling times.
Each day, members will receive a daily text, video, or image to pray over from a different member of Humanity Reboxed. Uniting as a community to pray over specific things will create a powerful movement in our country.
Humanity Reboxed aims to gain 500 subscribers by the end of April 2020. Join by texting @PCCOVID to 81010
On December 23rd, Humanity Reboxed took a group of 8 volunteers to Cesar Chavez Plaza in Downtown Sacramento for a homeless outreach event. During the day, the HR outreach team provided the homeless in the area with 100 sandwiches by Pocket Deli and 70 hygiene kits built by Humanity Reboxed.
The group of 8 volunteers included 5 first-timers! It was an amazing day full of smiles, laughter and happy tears. Our team was able to reconnect with individuals that we have built connections with over the years and make new friends.
While the stories are still rolling in, we want to focus in on one particular man we met. His name was James and he grew up in Oak Park. He's 28 years old and just recently became homeless. After speaking more to him, he was doing the best he can to get off the streets...he recently got a job at Golden One Center and was excited for the future. James was a smart yet humble guy. He approached us at our table, received his items, and asked where he could find a tent to get out of the rain during the winter and store his stuff. After further conversation, instead of pointing him to yet another service, we decided to get him a small hiking tent for him to stay in until he can make enough money for a deposit on an apartment.
When we gave him his new tent, his eyes filled with tears and he was overwhelmed with emotion; walking away after getting out a shaky 'thank you.'
We were able to do exactly what we set out for: to come alongside someone who is need of help this Christmas and show the joy that Christ provides. Thank you for being apart of Humanity Reboxed's mission.
An official outreach video will be released soon, produced by Matt Moura.
HR's next outreach is planned to happen on January 25th at Union Station in Los Angeles.
Humanity Reboxed is proud to announce that it is conducting a research project to understand and develop new strategies towards poverty alleviation. The project is looking particularly at 4 main categories of homelessness in the state of California in attempt to reinvent outreaches and street ministry programs.
The project will answer questions regarding the cause of homelessness, the phycological challenges that trap people in the cycle of poverty, education and its role in poverty alleviation, and back to work programs that equip homeless individuals with the tools needed to rejoin the workforce. Understanding these aspects of poverty will assist in outreach and program development.
By January of 2020, Humanity Reboxed hopes to have developed and launched a program that attacks all aspects of poverty, redesigning outreaches that effectively make a difference for the community. The findings and results of the project will be published at www.HumanityReboxed.com.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity in them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.” 1 John 3:17
On April 20th, Humanity Reboxed took an outreach team to Cesar Chavez park in downtown Sacramento to provide the homeless with food and hygiene kits. The team handed out over 70 hygiene kits and 90 sandwiches.
The awesome day full of conversation, prayer, and connection couldn't have been better. The team connected with multiple individuals and engaged in insightful conversation regarding biblical topics. One team member was even given the opportunity to share the gospel with a Muslim man.
There were multiple 'first-time' volunteers on the outreach. The overall response was that the day was extremely "humbling." The team was able to connect with individuals in wheelchairs, women who were struggling with their health, people who were starving, and even very intelligent people. The day was a constant reminder that the people living on the streets in our city are people with stories and families. The hunger for conversation was vivid and real. The experience was a fantastic demonstration of God's great love He has for all of His people.
Outreaches like this cannot happen without your help! Consider becoming a monthly donor to help our homeless neighbors in need.
On March 17th, 2019, Humanity Reboxed took a group of students from Azusa Pacific University to serve the homeless near Union Station in Los Angeles. The group handed out 90 sandwiches and three cases of water.
Beginning at a park across from Union Station, HR set up as homeless people laying in the grass watched with a curious eye. Soon, they would walk toward the small group of five students to grab a sandwich, a bottle of water, and a cheerful greeting.
One man who was in his 50's took out his guitar and started playing with a student. They talked and played for a full hour. The group also met a veteran from the airforce who is now pursuing his dream of being an artist after an awful head on collision with a car while he was riding his bike. This awesome individual even let HR pray for him and his health. Additionally, HR was able to assist an immigrant from Puerto Rico obtain a metro pass to find work.
After spending well over an hour at the park, the group loaded up into their car and drove through Skid Row, stopping at tents to hand out the remaining sandwiches and bottles of water.
This outreach was made possible by the amazing volunteers and donations by supporters. Humanity Reboxed thanks everyone who has supported the growth of homeless outreach in Los Angeles.