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!
2) Build an Outreach Kit
One option to quickly help someone experiencing homelessness is to give out an outreach kit! You can make these at home in a gallon size zip-lock bag and stuff them with everyday essentials such as socks, hand sanitizer, and a toothbrush.
During Humanity Reboxed outreaches, socks are the #1 requested item during the winter.
3) Donate Clothing Items to a Shelter
Homeless shelters are always in need of supplies. If you are cleaning out your closet, check in with your local homeless shelter too see if they need clothing items before you throw them away!
4) Have a Conversation
People experiencing homelessness are also battling with loneliness. While this takes more time then the previous options, having a conversation with someone experiencing homelessness can be the most helpful thing you can possibly do.
At least 58% of all homeless people have been verbally or physically assaulted. By taking the time to have a conversation with someone can provide for a person's emotional needs more than any physical gift you can provide.
This can sometimes be scary, but that's okay! You can download our homeless communicating tips pamphlet for guidance! To practice, volunteer at a local shelter or outreach program.
5) Volunteer or Donate to a Local Organization
Volunteering or donating to a program that is making a long term impact in a community can be one of the best ways to indirectly help homeless indivuals. This is the best option if you are uncomfortable reaching out to strangers. Make sure that the organization you are donating too is a 501(c)3 non-profit -- this certifies that they are doing the right work!
Share this article to help your friends reach out to people in need!