The local soup kitchens will be accepting donations of coats, hats, gloves and blankets.
If you go there you can bring them to the office. They are also looking for volunteers to serve food if you have time.
I have done a lot of volunteer work with the homeless people in my area. I know them personally. It is very very cold to sleep outside. It is a terrible thing.
It seems like they are an alien race compared to everyone else. They know they are perceived that way.
They all have families. Most of them had jobs and apartments. The economy is bad and some of them just could not pay the rent.
Once you are living outside it is very hard to get back inside again.
1. There is no shower to get cleaned up for a job interview.
2. There is no address you can put on a job application.
3. There is no phone number the job can reach you at.
4. There is no current job they can call for a reference. Even people who are living inside have trouble getting hired if they are not currently working.
5. There is no place to wash clothes and no way to purchase job interview clothes.
6. There is usually no one they can put for a personal reference. Most people stop talking to a family member of friend once they become homeless.
7. There is no alarm clock to wake you up for an interview.
8. Many of them have some mental illness which is a disability that keeps them from being able to keep a job. yes, the social services should help get them of the street but it is complicated. That is for another blog.
9. They are depressed and have very low self-esteem about getting a job.
10. They have become part of a subculture that is rejected by society. Most places would not even let them in the door, never mind hire them.
11. Most of the homeless people have lost all of their documents, like drivers license, birth certificate and ss card. It is nearly impossible to keep these things outside. They get stolen by other homeless people or they get wet from the weather.
It is easy to judge and say these people should just get a job and get off the street but once you are out there , it is like a life sentence of misery and fear.
These are things that I know from talking to the people, getting to know them and observing how they live. I have personally visited people at the soup kitchen and at their camps in the woods and in abandoned buildings.
I could tell some stories but that is for another day.
Please check through your storage and closets and see what you don’t need. Your coats and blankets could save someone from freezing to death or getting very ill.
Usually the soup kitchen are at a church. If you are not sure, you may or may not find out online. If you call around to the local churches, it is likely that someone will know which church or churches have lunch at the church for the homeless.
You can also take them to the homeless shelter. Most shelters only allow 15 – 30 days for them to stay. It is a short reprieve from living outside. The shelters do not keep them permanently. They rotate people through there. A lot of people do not know that.
Thank you so much.