A great way to connect with your local homeless population is through volunteering. Many people have a desire to help the homeless but do not feel comfortable doing so by approaching a homeless person. This is perfectly understandable and wise practice to be sure. Volunteering at a local establishment which works with the homeless is a surefire way to get the access you desire but safely. Here are a few ways you can volunteer and help the local homeless.
1.) Local Shelter- Here you can volunteer time to help feed the homeless as well as help with setting up cots and other things that need to be done to keep a shelter going. A shelter provides great access in the event you want to hear people’s stories of how they became homeless as well as what their experience has taught them. Homeless children sometimes have known no other way of life and are in need of solid role models.
2.) Needle Exchanges- Dirty needles that pass deadly diseases are a common cause of death among the homeless population. You can help decrease this population by handing out clean needles to homeless people who request them. You may also be able to convince some who don’t know if they care about the cleanliness of their needles to make an exchange.
3.) Clothes Handouts- Homeless people generally have very little access to basic food, shelter, and clothing needs. In fact, clothes are often outgrown and appropriate attire is absent over long grueling winters. While many people donate goods, and that is great, people are still needed to hand these donations out to the needing public.
Helping the homeless is a great way to hear true stories of tragedy. It is often the most unfortunate of circumstances which leads someone to have to live on the streets. Maybe you can help them and help you to feel great about yourself.