Homelessness is an unfortunate part of most cities both big and small. Despite the job conditions, there are circumstances, situations and choices that lead many individuals to live a life on the streets. Although some people may have preconceived notions as to why these individuals have ended up on the streets, the fact of the matter is, that for many it is out of their control. However they do have the control to get themselves off the streets, and into better lives. Sometimes even with the smallest assistance people can make big changes. So we wanted to share some ways that you can have positive impacts on the lives of others. It’s not easy for homeless and they need all the help they can get. Recently in many cities, including here in Tempe Arizona, city authorities have made efforts to get people off the streets, but not really with the intention to help the homeless individual. Recently Tempe Arizona has banned homeless people from sitting on the popular street Mill Avenue. Urged by local businesses to improve the aesthetics of the street, which is normally heavily populated with homeless, they have banned homeless from sitting on the streets. Mill Avenue has faced heavy opposition by local residents who claim the new law is inhumane, but yet the rules persists. Laws were not designed to care or people, so people have to care for people. The fact of the matter is that there is a large homeless population both here in Tempe AZ and elsewhere around the country. So we wanted to put together some tips for those who want to do something meaningful to help a homeless brother or sister out.
- Offer cleanliness in the form of a toothbrush and toothpaste. Often times a lack of cleanliness affects a homeless persons self confident and willingness to apply for a job.
- Gift Cards are a great way to offer support a homeless person getting a meal and know that the money is going to food and nothing self destructive.
- Support Effort. Try to recognize and acknowledge someones hard work. If you see someone working hard towards playing an instrument or offering product or service try and support. By you showing them that there efforts to better their lives are not in vein they will be more willing to increase these efforts and work towards creating a better life for themselves.
- Smile. Acknowledgment and love is one of the most powerful things we share with one another as humans. If someone feels that the world loves them, then they will relinquish hostility and work towards getting involved in a world of friendly people. Additionally, constant non acknowledgement works to hurt the ego and contribute to a lack of self worth.
- Listen. This may not always be the easiest or most convenient thing to do, but it can have a dramatic impact on someones life. Knowing that someone is willing to listen is reassuring and inspiring to someone who lives in silence most of their lives. Although you may encounter people rambling, try not to judge and just listen. There have been many times where people listening to a homeless person realize they can offer practical advise that can be life changing.
Stay tuned for our follow up post on ways you can positively affect the life of a homeless person.