Homelessness is and always has been a problem in our nation. Many people have been forced to live on the streets, in shelters, tent camps, and more due to different issues. Many of these issues include mental illness, domestic violence, addiction, or the cutting off of state or federal benefits. Whatever the case may be it breaks all of our hearts every time we see someone in need of food or a place to rest their head.
Many cities like Santa Cruz, New York City, and Detroit have been finding ways to make homelessness illegal instead of helping people. They have put spikes up in places where the homeless usually sleep, made asking for money in the streets illegal, sleeping in your car illegal, and more. Instead of making these people's misfortune a crime it is our humanitarian duty to help. Here is how you can:
1. DONATE MONEY
This is probably the easiest way you can help the homeless, by giving them money. A lot of people think that homeless people are often going to use it to buy drugs or alcohol, but most of the time they aren't. You need money to eat, catch the bus for work, buy an outfit for a job interview or pretty much anything in society.
2. GIVE FOOD
Being hungry is never fun, but can you imagine being famished? Can you imagine not eating for days while having to be on the constant move because you have nowhere to sleep? Operations like Hashtag Lunchbag and various soup kitchens provide meals for those in need and you can to. Go somewhere with a large homeless population (with a significant number of people so you ensure your safety), and take food. Even if it's just a few sandwiches and water bottles, that food will make a world of difference.
3. CREATE JOBS
Do you own a company? Most homeless people have been dealt one hellacious hand and often times you find people with college degrees and great skills. Reaching out to different organizations that help get homeless people in the job force will make a world of difference. If these people can provide for themselves they can help get themselves out of their situations.
4. CONTACT YOUR CITY & STATE OFFICIALS
Let your officials know how you feel about homelessness and beckon them to make a change. Solidarity is important and standing with those who cannot stand up for themselves is a noble act. Asking your leaders to allocate benefits for homeless veterans or to help those with mental health will not only help to combat homelessness, but it will provide help for millions who have the same issues and have been fortunate enough to not be homeless. You can email your officials, create a petition, protest any laws, or start a social media campaign.
5. GIVE LOVE
Many homeless people are ridiculed, told to get a job, and deal with daily let downs and upsets. Their feet are tired, their stomachs are empty, and their hearts are broken. A smile, telling them to have a good day, treating them like your equal, stopping to chat for a second, or any other way to show love will make their day. People need self-esteem and a will to go on and giving love will do that.