People who need your help


If you live in a city with a large population experiencing homelessness, you may walk by people down on their luck every day. Even if you want to help them, it can be hard to know what to do to make a difference. That's okay! Thinking about it is the first step. The next step? Taking action with the tips below.

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.In the old days, the assumption was that the best approach was to help homeless people work through substance abuse, mental health, and other issues before they could be placed in housing. Today, the thinking is the inverse - get people into housing and then help them work through the issues that led them to be homeless in the first place. I think that’s the right approach. How to help? Vote, talk to your elected officials about homelessness, support organizations that advocate for policy changes at city, state, and national levels, buy a paper from a homeless person, offer a homeless person a coffee/meal/conversation, help at a shelter. Many options.

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Homeless people have needs that need to be met in order to live. Food, water, shelter and safety are high on the priority list. Relationships, religion, stability, possessions, work and other things can be achieved, but only after the first four are met. The trick is to get homeless people past searching for immediate needs so that they can achieve some permanence. It’s hard to get on your feet if your standing on quicksand.

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If you have loose change, give it to anyone who views it as valuable, including a person who is without a home or food. Some would argue that it’s only encouraging people to “beg” on the streets. If that is your stance, then go right ahead and “teach” people not to beg, as if they no longer need your $.50 to survive. Go ahead and “teach”them that they should get a job rather than beg on the streets for booze or drugs. Perhaps you are doing society a favor. It’s not your responsibility, after all, to give anything to anybody, EVER. If this is not your stance, then please consider that your loose change usually means nothing to you and everything to some, and you probably don’t even realize you have it until you start digging in your wallet. No matter what though be kind - always. It’s not only valuable, but FREE

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(empty promises are the worst), and ) Think before you do - make sure you are actually helping. Here is a much longer list: How To Help Someone Facing Homelessness Confront Poverty Prejudice: The culture of victim blaming, prejudice against poverty survivors, and the near-universal support of the ‘deserving poor’ mythology (Deserving VS Undeserving Poor) keeps people in poverty. Combine that with workplace mobbing (Mobbing) and vicious gossip against anyone who has survived poverty, and these behaviors become one of many forces directly resulting in people being thrown back into poverty. This is a human rights issue and it REALLY needs to be addressed

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I have posted this information several times, but the best ways you can help anyone is the best way you know how, can afford too, and most important what feels ethically right in your heart. You can always give money, food, clothing, take them to a hotel and get them a room,(risky), get them into a shelter, provide them with daily hygiene products, but if you cannot afford or do not feel right doing any of these things. Just LISTEN TO THEM. Engage them in conversation. This provides hope. Some people prefer to be homeless and some are still very proud and embarrassed about their situation so don’t offer advice as to how to get off the streets because you do not know what is best for this person. Everyone’s story is a little bit different but each story is the same. Being there by just smiling, saying good morning and acknowledging a person can go a long way.

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Get Involved: Contact your local non-profits and offer to help. Connect with local poverty survivors, talk, listen, observe and generally look for a way that you can make a positive contribution in the lives of those who are surviving poverty. There are many ways to get involved and help make the world a better place. I hope this list helps to proved some practical ideas for a good place to begin.

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