The number of homelessness still continues to rise and many people have lost hope and meaning of life and something needs to be done. Have you ever asked yourself why there are more people in the streets today who have nowhere to call home despite the availability of homeless shelters? It is because of the stigmatization and being stereotypical. Just a simple smile, some encouraging words or even a handout can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
So if you may be wondering how you can help break the circle of homelessness, here is how.
- Donate to charities
Some of the money the government gives to charitable organizations is not enough to cater for the large number of victims who have been affected which has left many lollygagging on the streets. Giving donations is one of the ways to help these organizations improve some of the services. Contributions may be in form of money, clothes or food.
- Engage with the homeless
Not every victim outside there gets the opportunity to secure space to live in the homeless shelters. Worse still; these organizations do not have enough space to accommodate all the affected individuals, leaving some suffering in the streets. Taking the time to interact with the affected will help renew their hope again.
Even if you do not have anything to offer, smile and greet them as you walk the street. Do not be selective but instead treat them equally regardless of their culture, or skin color.
Set aside some time every weekend or month and spend time with them. Some of these victims do not get anyone to listen to them or share their stories. Get to know why they are homeless.
Not everyone in the streets out there is illiterate; some of them have professional skills and may be battling with alcohol, substance abuse, mental illness, or even joblessness. Give each one a listening ear and know how they ended up in the streets.
Carry with you some money to buy them food and drinks as they share their stories. If you are in the spending mood, you can also offer a free haircut in the nearest barber shop.
- Understand them
Try to friendly and understand every victim because they are not homeless by choice. Get to know also their dreams, and their passion. Think of ways to assist them and lay a strategy. For those who may be battling with alcohol, mental illness or substance abuse, help them to recover by taking them to recreational centers.
Please do not stop there, do a follow-up and ensure once they recover you help them look for jobs to better their lives. Help the jobless get placed in better positions. This will motivate them and minimize any chances of becoming homeless again.
- Mobilize the community around you
Form a team of friends, family members, church members and workmates to help you reach out to the needy. Let them help with what they can. Gather all the contributions and visit those in homeless shelters and the streets and give them hope. Interact with them by singing and praying together. Motivate them and encourage them to help change the way they see the future.
- Help them connect with their loved ones
Most homeless people do not even have any means of getting in touch with their loved ones, not because they would not like to, but they do not own even a phone to make a call. Helping them contact their loved ones or helping them re-unite again can make a huge difference.
Education is one way of breaking the circle of dependency. Help someone finish studies and get a good job. If you are not able to sponsor their education, you can help them find scholarships and who knows, that could be their turning point in their life.
- Hold free entertainment shows
Most of these homeless individuals have low-self-esteem and feel they have no value in society. If you are a comedian or musician, organize for free comedy shows and entertain them. If you are a motivational speaker, you can restore their hopes by motivating them. Use what God has gifted you to reach out to those in need.
- Create public awareness
Some people have a bad attitude toward the homeless. Creating public awareness can change how some treat and view these victims. Prepare proposal reports for the government with what you think should be done to curb the increasing levels of homelessness.
There are so many kids in the streets today who are miserable. If you are financially capable, you can adopt some of these kids and help them pursue their dreams.
There are so many ways you can do to break the circle of homelessness. You do not need to be that rich to help someone. Stretch yourself the far you can, even if it means motivating someone, looking for a part-time job for the low-income earners, or even donating the little you have, you will change someone’s life. Some of the little things that do not matter to us may mean a lot to someone else, So let’s give hope back to those who have lost the meaning of life.