Unfortunately, in our area we have many homeless people. It is very likely that you will see one at each intersection and at on/off ramps near the interstate. We used to give them cash or go and get them something to eat. Then one day my husband was able to sit down to have a conversation with a man who was homeless. He discovered that they lacked many of the things we take advantage of each and every day. Things like blankets, toothbrushes, and soap.
Not long after that divine meeting my husband and I purchased several items that we knew a homeless person would be able to use. We put them in plastic baggies because we figured they could use that over and over. We now keep these bags in the car at all times and if we see someone asking for money, we simply grab a bag and ask the person, “Hey. Do you know of anyone who could use this stuff?” They either take it for themselves or take it for a friend. Either way they are always thankful.
Some of the things we include in the bags are:
- fruit juice or water
- healthy snacks
- knit cap
- a note of encouragement
Most of these items are less than a dollar or free with sales/coupons. Each bag costs us less than $10. I’m sure we could be more elaborate but this meets the need and gives us a way to help that is beneficial to them and affordable for us.
What do you do when you see a homeless person? Do you give them something similar? We’d love to have more ideas of how we can help.