|January 21, 2017|
As millions of Americans are rushing off to work in a hurry after dropping the kids off at school, others are seeking an opportunity for warmth or how to find their next meal. Homelessness is a major issue in the United States and people are looking to help.
For those who are looking to lend a helping hand, but aren't sure where to start to consider the following options to help those in desperate need:
Often we are reluctant to help the person with a cardboard sign asking for money. A negative stereotype of someone who is a drug addict or an alcoholic crosses your mind which keeps you from giving them money, but this negative connotation couldn't be further from the truth.
Many people are homeless due to suffering from a mental illness, losing their job, or even from a disability. Many people don't realize that there is a great number of veterans that are being forced to live on the streets. According to this homeless veterans resource, the rate of homelessness found in veterans increase by over 14 percent from 2013 to 2015. An alarming rate that has been contributed by ranging disabilities. Take the time to understand these contributions to the rate of homelessness and see where your help is needed.
There are many ways in which you can donate. If you're unlikely to provide a homeless individual with money, consider contributing to an organization that specifically deals with the homeless population. By contributing monetary gifts to the organization you're directly supporting an organization to continue assisting this population.
If you're strapped for money, consider donating other things. Donating new or used items is always a great idea. It would be a good idea to discover their needs after educating yourself on what it's like to be homeless. Donate gifts such as clothing you don't wear, prepaid bus passes, hygiene products, food, linens, and first aid items. Although it might be out of the standard monetary donation, these items can be used and help someone in need.
If you're someone who is looking to make a positive impact in your community, there are numerous opportunities to lend a hand to others. Volunteers are the backbone of many organizations such as food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.
Consider your skills and abilities and seek an opportunity within these non-profit organizations to see how you can help. Whether you're great at organization, heavy lifting, cooking, or just a friendly face to talk to, your help will be valued.
If you're strapped for time and money, consider reaching out to resources in the community. Take the opportunity to support organizations that help the homeless by promoting their cause on social media and throughout your community. You might consider reaching out to a local representative to discusses current legislation and what can be improved.
Another way to advocate awareness is to communicate the demand for help in local organizations that you can relay to friends, family, and co-workers. Getting your network involved can result in a larger impact.
If you've noticed someone suffering on the streets and can see their struggle, don't hesitate to call for local help. Too often people who are on the streets are unaware of the help that they are entitled to use. Without knowing that there is assistance available, they may never get the help they need. Be a part of their road to recovery by helping them with services provided in your area.
Although there are numerous ways to help someone suffering from homelessness, these options are sure to get you started today. Whether you plan to purge through your closet, pantry, or write a check; you have an opportunity to do something good for someone else. Be the reason that your community is a better place.
What are some other opportunities to help those who are homeless?
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