To end homelessness, a community-wide coordinated approach to delivering services, housing, and programs is a must.
If you’re reading this, more often than not you’re one of the lucky ones. The world of homelessness may be completely foreign to you. Think about it, without the support of friends and family would you be able to survive things like; debilitating physical illness, losing your spouse and unexpected unemployment? A lot of homeless people today are where they are now because of personal, unfortunate tragedies, lack of support or they were simply just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Here’s how you can help and make a difference in the life of a homeless person:
Homeless people are in fact that, PEOPLE without homes. DON'T treat them as if they are invisible and DON'T treat them as if they are less than you. DO show some respect and educate yourself. Many that experience homelessness say that the loss of dignity is worse than the physical loss of items.
I was told by a homelessness organization worker that, if you can, instead of giving money, you should donate. Donate your used or new items to your local organizations. Clothing, shoes and food is always needed. Some honorable mentions are things like blankets, coats, books, first aid items and travel-sized hygiene items. By all means, of course, if you don’t have the items on hand and want to quickly help someone on the spot, money will do just fine.
Advocacy can be one of the most powerful ways to help. It is an important part of the nation’s collective effort to prevent and end homelessness. Advocating can be quite simple, you can volunteer at your local homeless shelter or even just educate a friend or two on current homelessness events. Donating, serving as a volunteer and most importantly, educating yourself has the ability to change lives.