In nature, humans are kind in origin and sensitive to care about their fellow. They can not live like abandoned animals. Probably that inherent characteristic forced us to connect with our brothers and sisters living on the streets or subways.
However, we felt lost when in reality, nobody knows how to help long-term homeless people with a practical impact.
Without being homeless, it is difficult to understand the terrible feeling of a panhandler needing food and shelter with an expected minimum of essential facilities.
We perceive that a home is not only a shelter but the comfort zone of a person, a soul in a body. Absence leads to severe mental pain or depression, the most terrible suffering of mankind, more than all bodily pain.
Homelessness is one of the most untold facts in our colorful society. Nevertheless, in 2017 over 553,000 Americans were homeless. Additionally, nearly 40 million people struggle with hunger, and 40.6 million officially live below the poverty line (Volunteers of America, 2017). It is horrible to imagine that on one side, there are people who own so many houses that they need to hire staff to look after; on the other side, so many of us sleep rough.
So many things need to be initiated regarding the condition of homeless people, but first, we must be free from stereotypical thoughts. It’s a trend to recognize them as criminals and a liability to our society. It is a shame that some of us want to see them behind bars.
In a motivating book, author Elliot Liebow talked about the people who drink, do drugs, and the bosses who have tantrums and treat their subordinates like dirt. He concluded that without a good home, they would surely become ‘alcoholics,’ ‘drug addicts,’ or ‘mentally ill.’
Three out of every four homeless outreach owners said that homelessness was primarily caused by the poor decisions of homeless people about their life. Rik James, who previously slept rough, revealed money is not the answer to this problem. Mr. James, who runs Birmingham Homeless Outreach, acknowledged that it could be used to buy drugs or alcohol. Whether or not you choose to give change or stuff, please don’t look away from homeless people as if they do not exist.
While we all want to live with respect and peace, one should keep in mind that it is the same for the homeless. There should be a specific framework to engage with those people meaningfully. Experiencing homelessness leads to isolation and embarrassment. These men and women we failed to provide a permanent address need consistent love and encouragement like a friend to live a healthy life.
While a country like America has a booming economy and democratic government, it is struggling to contain its population growth and maintain an equal distribution of wealth. So many organizations, like The Bowery Mission and Serve the City, are working to make a difference for our neighbors experiencing homelessness. And the best thing is that we’re stronger only when we work together.
Getting help when it is most needed can be extremely difficult. At the same time, the needs of people experiencing homelessness continue to exceed the available help year after year. It is also a cumbersome task to navigate the maze of services and agencies appropriately.
The most common misconceptions about people experiencing homelessness are that they are lazy, dangerous, or take advantage of what is given to them. However, the truth is that limited numbers of affordable houses lead to someone falling on the waitlist and biding their time in a shelter or on the street. Even today, our art of caring and comforting is guided by millennials of unpleasant perceptions.
The biggest question that arises in our mind regarding how to help homeless people is where to begin. Throughout this article, I have mentioned a few steps to help homeless people and inspire them to be involved with them spontaneously.
1. Soup Kitchen and Shelters
Soup kitchens provide one of the basics of life, nourishing meals for the homeless and other disadvantaged members of our community. You must search for a homeless shelter or food bank near you to make a real difference because an individual effort cannot execute this job. After all, unlike a job, it is a social responsibility for each conscious person in this world to tackle this problem voluntarily.
There is sadly endless misery one can find in homeless people’s life. The person you are meeting could be a disabled woman, an addicted veteran, or someone who lacks a job skill, etc. Thus for a fruitful outcome, you have to encourage the person to meet and get help through a mission, but remember that ultimately it must be their decision. You can inform them about the many government and non-profit organizations that assist homeless people in paying the minimum rent.
Local shelters can easily be established or find out if one can come together with a few more conscious people. After talking with the owner, we can recognize abandoned old houses where no one lives and repair them for those unsheltered people. Using our local task force, we can build healthy, sustainable houses in many ways. To find a homeless shelter in America, reach out to this website.
An educator can make all the difference in human children from animals. Just having adult care can spur children to do their best. Many programs exist in shelters, transitional housing programs, and schools that require interested volunteers where you can join. Otherwise, you can begin your own tutor volunteer corps at your local shelter. It takes nothing but a little time with the right intention.
Find out if your local shelter would appreciate donations of books. Consider organizing a book drive to create a small library at the shelter if there is not already one. Many non-profit organizations can face difficulty in purchasing expensive but essential educational equipment such as computers. A shelter or service provider might greatly appreciate the donation if you have any extra machines.
3. Providing the Right Content For The Life
Human finds purpose only when living together with other humans. Being productive is our rational choice, but we can not find our usefulness in stressful conditions. We always want to live with cheer and joy within relationships and bonding, which comes from social and educational activities.
Many children in shelters are cut off from their same age groups. As they rearrange life from place to place, sometimes these kids don’t attend school regularly and have no contact with other kids. It will definitely bring a little joy to their lives if you take your children to a local shelter to play. Plan activities such as coloring, playing with dolls, or building model cars (take along whatever toys you need).
While interacting with homeless people, if you receive a negative response, remember that they likely aren’t sleeping well and may even be chronically hungry, sick, or threatened with typical adverse childhood experiences.
To know what kind of impact homelessness make on children’s minds, you can read this article.
4. Volunteering Your Time
Volunteering your time might bring a change in someone’s life. In addition, it is the best way to learn about homelessness and become an enthusiast. While helping someone with a shelter, your endeavor can be extended to others.
Volunteers generally do much of the work in a homeless shelter, including picking up food donations, preparing meals, serving them, and cleaning up afterward. You must contact your local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, mobile food program, or any religious center to volunteer your services. Without volunteers, organizers spent more money on paying someone to prepare and serve meals.
Putting together a care kit with toothbrushes, soap, bottled water, snacks, Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches, and essential bath items and donating them to your local food bank or homeless shelter would be a great help, even though not a permanent solution too.
Direct service can be the best way to understand homeless persons while supporting those who need it. Offer professional skills directly or assist in job training. Direct service providers may require many services and skills, including secretarial, electrical, catering, plumbing, accounting, management, carpentry, public relations, fundraising, legal, medical, dentistry, writing, child care, counseling, tutoring, or mentoring.
Teach your hobbies to a group of people staying at a homeless shelter. Ask them about their hobbies and have them teach you. Invite people who are experiencing homelessness to a worship service, public concert or picnic, city council meeting, community event, etc.
What to do if you see a homeless person being told to leave a subway, park, or other public places by a policeman or others?
Without getting confused, try to record the incident with some information and be a witness. Your mere presence might help find justice. This site can learn more about volunteering your time in anti-homeless operations.
5. Transitional Housing Programs
Another potent homeless-prevention service offered to residents in danger of eviction is affordable housing or the arrangement of the transitional housing program. Addressing these people to the appropriate social service and community agencies will provide them a massive help to move out of shelters and funds for paying rent, mortgage, and utilities. For additional information, contact the Homelessness Information Exchange across America at (202) 462-7551, U.S.
Some of the largest organizations in the USA want to incorporate themself into charitable programs like affordable housing. Using the tax credit or outright grants, they are participating with federal and state government, not-for-profit, and community-based groups to build desperately needed housing in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and a few other cities.
After a minimum understanding of what exactly they are doing with people experiencing homeless, you should provide their positive advice to get maximum success in the action of rehabilitation.
5.1 Homeless Service Organization and Agencies
Rescue missions offer immediate food and shelter to end homelessness, and Union Rescue Mission is the largest and oldest private Christian homeless shelter in Los Angeles. It conducts rescue operations in the united states for men, women, and children struggling to find a home. Where you can have a wonderful volunteer experience in three-time shifts a day. For details, you can visit them at urm. To arrange a transitional housing program in your colony, you can contact them directly by emailing email@example.com.
The Bowery Mission is an organization fighting against homelessness, hunger & poverty since 1970 with a novel aim of providing the most effective compassionate care and life transformation in the New York metropolitan area.
It is honored to have become a place where people experiencing homelessness trust that they can go for needed items like food, clothing, and toiletries. If you donate their needed items, they will assure you to redistribute that among those who need them the most.
6. Clothing Drive
People experiencing long-term homelessness relocate very fast and have few opportunities to store safely or adequately clean clothes. In job interviews, a poorly dressed person has less chance of success. In this condition, transitional homeless shelters always need new and gently used clothes, especially personal hygiene items and socks.
Please clean the clothes before you donate them to any local shelter you will no longer wear. It would be better if you consider the time of the year, and try to distribute light clothes in summer or wollens in winter.
7. Establishment of a Sustainable Life For The Homeless
In your region, if there is a “bottle law,” saving your plastic bottles, cans, and newspapers and giving them to homeless people would be a great step towards engaging them with work.
Educating to produce all the essential things at the shelter with a minimum arrangement could be one more remarkable step toward improving their living. Items include cups, pots, pans, soap, shampoo, oil, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and cosmetics. To produce pots, there should be skilled persons to teach them the art of pottery. It is of the utmost importance to bring back a homeless person into mainstream life.
8. How to Help Homeless People – Parting Thoughts
Some stay in cars, some are in a congested room and face an eviction notice. From Oakland to California, in America, many people are living a pathetic life without a home. Few of them joined a gym just to get a one-time shower in a day and to keep their employers impressed.
Click this link to watch a few real stories of below-poverty homeless people in America. This documentary will definitely enable one to comprehend the shelterless life, the reason behind typical homelessness, and plan accordingly to bring a healthy change in these people’s lives. Above all, while everyone recognizes homeless people only by their needs, there must be a relentless strive by few of us to know them by their name and address.
To read more with us, click here.