Homeless people. Bad fortune has befallen them. It could happen to any of us. A house fire destroys everything you own, everything you have ever known. Maybe you have a drug problem, and if it gets out of hand you waste your money on drugs instead of paying rent. Perhaps you are trying to get away from an abusive spouse. Or maybe you have 4 kids, you're working 2 jobs, a single parent, but you still got served that dreaded eviction notice because it just isn't enough. Oftentimes veterans are homeless because of PTSD, being unable to assimilate themselves back into everyday lives. They have changed and there isn't enough support to help them.
Point is, I've seen several questions circulating about what you do when you see beggars. Homeless people. People in need. Someone who looks like they haven't eaten in days. Well I see this on a daily basis. There are lessons I've learned, and I have done what I can to help. I don't do it for the thanks. I do it because my family has been through hard times too, and no one should go cold or hungry on a frozen winter night.
Things you can do to help the homeless.
You can offer them food or drinks.
I always carry granola bars, bottles of water, and other small packaged, non perishable food items in my car, close enough that I can reach them if I see someone who's asking for help. I put on my flashers, NEVER get out of the car, I only roll down my window enough to hand out the food items/water because it can be risky, some people will grab your arm and ask for money instead. Never give out money, but we will get to that in a later point.
A case of water here is 2$. A pack of 8 or so granola bars can be found for 1$ on sale. So 5 dollars and you can give a snack and water to 24 people who need help. Oftentimes I give out two waters since it can be hot outside. But at most, it costs me 5$ a week to keep stuff in my car to give out. I spend more than that on one meal.
You can find groups that go out and help homeless populations.
My church used to go out every Wednesday during the winter to hand out gloves, hand warmers, bottles of water, snacks and food, donated clothes, hygiene products like pads or toothbrushes and floss, whatever we could get donations for, we went out and we gave. If you don't have money or food to give, just give your time! You get out, get involved in your community. Even if you are just trying to punch some sort of volunteer hours, this is a great way to get out there and do some good at the same time.
However my church went to some extremely rough areas of Detroit. I guess we didn't fear since we had trust in God, and also my dad's 9mm... If you do choose to go out with a church or a volunteer group, make sure you are familiar with where you are going, and you know what protection measures are being taken so you are not taking unnecessary risks.
Things you should absolutely not do.
Don't give out money!!!
Sometimes honest people do have misfortune and become homeless. It happens. But lots of times, the homeless population consists of people who have addictions so bad that they lost their homes due to using their money on their addiction, not bills. Whether, it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, a bad shopping addiction, or some sort of mental illness, I absolutely NEVER give out money. You are just feeding their addiction. I'd rather give them a meal, not another syringe to put in their arm, which is what your money will be going to.
There is the rare person who also makes a living off of begging. My dad tells me stories of a guy he used to give money to every week, who was eventually made out, and ended up on the news for living large and in a great home with a family who was well cared for by stranger's money.
Never give out money. I'll say it till the cows come home.
Never get out of your car in a bad area.
I understand wanting to get out of your car to run someone some water or food if It's a low traffic time and you see someone begging across the street. But don't do this. You can easily be jumped, car jacked, robbed, etc. What you should do, is roll your window down just enough to put what you want to give out the window. Never all the way down. If they want what you're offering, they will come up and take it, hopefully with some manners and a thank you. Never offer money. If they try to grab your hand, roll the window up immediately.
I know this wasn't an extremely long or extensive take, but it covers the basics. Helping out is not difficult, but always practice safe habits. Use your flashers if you're handing something out of your window. Don't give out money. You can do food or water instead, that way you know your money isn't going to drugs. Feel free to offer someone your church address, or if you know of a job opportunity for them, but be safe and always remember that anything can happen. Anyone could become homeless with simple bad luck. Be respectful and know that things happen, homeless people are still people. Don't be disrespectful or rude.
Thanks for reading myTake, have a nice day and don't forget to upvote or add advice if you have some of your own!