Homelessness is an issue that affects millions of individuals across the globe. At a glance, it feels like an impossible task doing anything to help it. However, we believe that change starts small and anyone can make a small, but significant, difference.
To do this, it is essential that we recognise the humanity in those who are in need and treat them like we would any other human. Whether it be a small gesture of saying hello or going an extra step to buy someone a meal or give them support in some other way, we can all implement little acts of giving throughout our day that might just change someone else's day completely.
It doesn't take a lot to be human. But it does take action.
Ways We Can Help
There are so many ways we can have an impact on the people in need simply through small, dignity-driven gestures. Have a look at some of the things we can do to help those most in need in our society.
There are so many organisations dedicated to helping people experiencing homelessness and they're often in need of helping hands. Find a charity or organisation that's local to you and offer your time.
There is always a need for clothing, food and other essential items to be donated. If you have any new or lightly used clothing to donate, nonperishable food items and other essential items such as feminine care kits or brand-new toothbrushes, reach out to your local charity to see if you can donate these items. Alternatively, find out what items they need and help them meet those needs as best as you can.
Kindness is the simplest way to make someone feel like they are valued and worthy of dignity. Next time you see someone experiencing homelessness, rather than ignoring them challenge yourself to greet them, ask how they are and possibly even see if there's anything you can do to make their day easier. It may surprise you just how far a little kindness goes.
It may sound odd but a simple conversation can have a profound effect. Many people experiencing homelessness face being ignored and overlooked by the people who pass them every day. However, you can break that cycle. If you stop to have a few minutes of conversation with someone in need, you remind them that they are worthy of being acknowledged and that's huge.
Many organisations and charities rely on financial donations and often fall short of the finances they need to help as best as they can. Whether it's small or large, every contributions matters and every penny makes a difference. If you're able to, consider donating to a local charity or organisation whose mission you believe in.
Ultimately, whatever you do - big or small, directly or indirectly - you are contributing to making a difference and that is something to be proud about.
By engaging with the people who are on our streets or supported by the charities and organisations around us, we begin to see that there's so much more to them than what meets the eye.
After all, change begins with compassion and progress begins with people.