Eight Ways to Truly Help the Homeless
1. Never give cash to a homeless person.
Too often, well intended gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol—even when the “hard luck” stories they tell are true. If the person is hungry, buy them a sandwich and a beverage or perhaps have appropriate gift cards ready to hand out.
2. Talk to the person with respect.
Taking time to talk to a homeless person in a friendly, respectful manner can give them a wonderful sense of civility and dignity. And besides being just neighborly, it gives the person a weapon to fight the isolation, depression and paranoia that many homeless people face.
3. Recognize that homeless people (and their problems) are not all the same.
The homeless are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. The person you meet may be a battered women, an addicted veteran, someone who is lacking job skills…the list goes on.
4. Share God’s love whenever you can.
If Jesus were walking the earth today, He would certainly spend time with the homeless. He would speak with them, heal them, and help them. Today, Jesus chooses to work through those who believe and follow Him.
5. Pray for the homeless.
Exposure to the elements, dirt, occasional violence, and lack of purpose all drain years from a person’s life. God can use your prayers and the brutality and the futility of life of the street to bring many of the broken to Himself.
6. Take precautions for your own safety.
Some living on the streets are criminals and fugitives running from the law. Always be prudent while talking with street people. Stay in areas where other people can see you. Don’t take unnecessary chances.
7. Encourage the homeless to get help at Valley Rescue Mission.
The homeless will find a hot meal, safe-shelter, clean clothing, vocational training, biblical counsel, job placement, and care. Most importantly, they will find a loving, caring staff ready and willing to help them back to a productive life.
8. Support and/or Volunteer at Valley Rescue Mission.
Rescue missions are supported entirely by gifts from individuals, churches, businesses, civic groups, organizations, foundations, grants, and bequests. When you give a financial gift to the rescue mission, you can rest assured that your funds will be used to help those who are hungry and homeless, 365 days a year.