Here are a few things I’ve learned that you can do to help out our Homeless neighbors.
1) Acknowledge them
It sounds like an obvious thing to do, but it can make a world of difference to somebody’s day. It’s been days, months, maybe even years since the last time one of them had a actual conversation with someone. Everytime they open their mouth we tend to think they are just going to ask for money that they will use to “buy booze or drugs”.
Darrell said “A smile and a hello can make a world of difference,” “That can actually set someone up for the day, especially when they’ve had no one to talk to for a long time.”
2) Buy them something WARM. A coffee, meal, tent etc…
Stopping by Starbucks? Why not buy an extra hot drink, even if it’s just a small one? Not only will this keep a homeless person hydrated but it will give them a chance to warm their hands up.
A tent or sleeping bag might actually save their life!
These are only $30 at BassPro http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Eclipse-Hiker/Biker-1Person-Tent/product/9992256648/
Find a charity, church or individual that is legit and donate! Money, Blankets, Gloves, Coats etc..
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
Find an opportunity to serve them.
4) Buy them a gift.
Buy them a good book, or pre loaded old ipod you got laying around that you never use.
We don’t think about it, but homeless people do like to read to pass the time, it gives them something to take their mind away for a bit.
5) Help them keep warm
When it’s in the 30’s and below, keeping warm at night is impossible if you’re living without shelter.
Again…offering a homeless person a thick sleeping bag, tent or blanket might save their life!!!
*Note: Don’t donate summer sleeping bags. Get a thick winter cold weather rated sleeping bag*
Winter sleeping bags are thicker and they’re waterproof so they’re more useful at this time of the year.
Other warm clothes can also be donated, like gloves, hats and thermal undergarment. etc.
Let me beg you here. PLEASE DO NOT give a homeless person a gospel track by itself. That is shameful and not christ like at all! I’m all for you giving them a track if that’s what you want, but that track had better be with a tent, coat, meal(s).
Darrell is a stronger christian than most of the people that would hand him a track and think they are doing a good thing because he is “that way”
6) Do the Backpack Challenge
Fill up a old backpack with anything that might be useful really – blankets, thermals, snacks or a paperback…
If you see a homeless person I don’t advise giving them money directly, because they may have addiction issues or other problems. If they are really in need they will NEVER turn away a warm meal, blanket, etc…
We can’t solve the homeless problem overnight. We can’t help every homeless person but we CAN help one at a time.
Be the good and see the need around you! It will shock you how much you can do right here in our community for people who need it the most!
If you would like to donate anything that could help keep my friends warm please email me at JC@rockbridge.cc or text/call me at 423-280-9101
Thanks and God bless