What's the best way to help the homeless?
20th January 2016
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The world of the homeless seems a far stretch from yours - but in some ways it is quite near. For any of us, being made redundant, the death of a loved one or a severe mental or physical condition could be the route to total despair. These are the tragedies that have happened to many homeless people, but sometimes we let myths and misunderstandings about homelessness get in the way of solving the problem.

So, what is the best way to help?

  • Homelessness can bring a sense of loneliness, but a simple smile and a word of kindless can make a big difference. Why not talk to them and engage in a simple conversation? Above all, avoid stereotyping or stigmatizing the homeless - each person has a different story.
  • Winter can feel like an eternity when you are living on the streets and there is a big risk of hypotermia. Check your wardrobe and drawers for simple clothing suitable for winter that you aren't using anymore, such as winter glovers, scarfs, hats and winter boots. Items like toiletries and hygiene items are also useful.
  • Most homeless charities are run by volunteers and the work that they do is vital to tackling the issue of homelessness. The Glebe Centre welcome volunteers aged 18 plus. For further information about becoming a volunteer at the centre, call 01922 625687 or email theglebecentre@ymcabc.org.uk
  • Sometimes it's difficult to determine whether we should give food or money to a homeless person and which is more beneficial, and it is ultimately up to you and them but either will go a long way.

If you see a rough sleeper in your local area, you can call the charity StreetLink on 0300 500 0914. StreetLink processes information about rough sleepers and refers them to suitable agencies who can help them to get rehabilitated.

For more information about StreetLink and local homeless charities, click here.

About the Author

Alex M

Member since: 10th July 2012

My name is Alex Murray. I am passionate about what goes on in and around Walsall. I hope you find my blog to be interesting and thought provoking. Please feel free to give me your feedback.

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