As the temperature drops, it’s important to be thinking about the most vulnerable population in the winter: those who are without homes. As Jesus cared for those most vulnerable in his community, so should you. Here are a few of the best ways to care for the homeless in the winter.
Did you know that for a very large number of Americans, the difference between living in a home and being homeless is just one paycheck or one financial disaster such as getting very sick or having an accident? There is a misconception that homeless people are lazy or would rather be out on their own.
The reality is often the homeless population is made up of families and individuals who are having an extremely difficult time financially. Educate yourself on the who comprises your local homeless population and why they’re homeless. While there are certainly those who do struggle with mental illness and addiction–and deserve our support and help–many homeless men and women are just at a difficult junction in their life and are truly down on their luck.
Volunteering at Soup Kitchens or Homeless Shelters
Giving your money is one way to help the homeless, but giving your time is an incredible way to serve and demonstrate God’s love with a one-on-one connection. No special skills are required. Generally speaking, most homeless shelters and soup kitchens are very well organized and they can show you what to do.
Often the homeless population struggles with the following:
- Having clean laundry
- Items for grooming such as nail clippers and toothbrushes
- Having the ability to keep warm
- Finding nutritious food
Many homeless people will go weeks, or even months, without things that we consider basic necessities. Consider making small care packages with items like:
- Clean socks
- Nail clippers
- Small bottles of lotion
- Nutritious snacks
- Hand warmers
- Instant coffee
- A note of encouragement
- A list of resources in your area if available