Building Community: Helping the Most Vulnerable in Society

Many communities have started to address the problems of growing homelessness in the U.S. by pooling together their finite resources. It is a crucial step, as the latest reports of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said a total of 553,000 people have found themselves homeless in 2018.

The report said that homelessness has increased by about 0.3% for the second year in a row. Some people are staying in places that need a replacement of gutter protection systems and other upgrades. Sadly, most found homeless shelters more hospitable than fixing these homes themselves.

There are many legal rules in place designed to help the homeless, which is a small part of what communities that are honest in helping them can do. Do you think your community is doing such work? See what kind of help communities are doing to help erase homelessness.

Clothing the Homeless

Being homeless is no joke. There’s the added pressure of knowing where you’ll sleep today aside from knowing what to eat for the day. During this winter season, there’s the added hazard of trying to keep warm when the weather outside goes below zero or lower.

Some people experience sickness and death because of the lower temperatures. Clothing plays a huge part in keeping people warm or protected from the weather outside, but homeless people normally don’t have the money to spend for a complete ensemble of clothing.

If you have excess clothing you don’t use anymore, consider donating them to homeless shelters. You never know whose life they’re going to save.

Feeding the Homeless

Bagged lunches may look simple for someone who has the money to buy better-packed food, but those experiencing homelessness will find it complete for them. Lunches don’t always have to be extravagant; they can be simple but nutritious. Pack food with sandwiches and fruits or even snack bars. These can be packed easily and don’t require any silverware or extensive cooking.

When you find homeless people, you can give them away easily. It might also be worth including a list of services they can avail or shelters they can go to. You can include different services, like programs to help them get out of homelessness, soup kitchens for food, or other similar help that are of worth to them.

Caring for the Homeless

Figure you’ve got a lot of time on your hands? Donate at a food bank and help hand out food. If you’d rather care for the homeless, there are family shelters that need volunteers. These shelters often house families that are driven out of their homes for one reason or another.

The work you do there is to help homeless parents care for their children while getting rid of their current situation. They might be looking for housing and long-term employment as you care for their children. Caring can also mean looking after these kids or helping them with their education.

Opening Rental for the Homeless

In the homeless situation in Washington, D.C., the process for assisting the homeless with their payments to landlords usually goes where the city pays for their rent. In turn, those tenants who owe rent owe it to the city instead of the landlord.

Landlords, in turn, get an explanation of the new system from the city government. The reduction of the burden on the landlords and the combined reduction of the pressure on the homeless clients helped both; the landlords were able to get their pay on time, while the homeless managed to get out of homelessness.

black and white photograph of homeless person on the street

Cash for Work for the Homeless

In Cuyahoga County, some people find themselves homeless as a result of difficult circumstances. They move into the region and try to look for work. Those who fail to find work end up becoming stuck in the city without the means to go home and go homeless.

The authorities managed to resolve these by offering them a means to get back on their feet. Some of these trapped homeless people are offered small subsidies for transportation and food to manage their homelessness. Perhaps, the best are resources—in the form of work or other incentives—to help them get out of homelessness.

There are still lots of things you can do for the homeless. Educating them about maintaining their income and avoiding spending above their means is one; another is to learn how to save for the lean times. It’s hard to be homeless, and you should be more understanding about these people. Helping them should be a matter of brotherhood and not of just duty.