Tips on Helping
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge. Being homeless can be lonely. A simple “hello” may open the opportunity to learn their story, their biography. Remember, there is not one path to homelessness and each person has a unique story.
If you’re able – help! Carry a few small gift cards to a fast food restaurant. This can make a huge difference for someone who is struggling to just get through the day. As a rule, don’t give cash unless you are led to do so. Just offer a little help, sometimes you’ll get a yes, sometimes a no. Respect that.
Check your closet for items you no longer use…a blanket, winter coat, pair of winter boots, sweatshirt. This is what the Upper Room of Erie does, thanks to our generous sponsors.
One of the biggest problems with homeless is the stigma / stereotype and misunderstanding. Remember, each person living on the street has his or her own story. If you can, learn their story. They are humans too, regardless of bad breaks and perhaps, bad choices.
You can help with a bus pass, or direct them to The Upper Room for hot coffee and a roof over their head. You are empowered to help if you choose to do so. Imagine the power you have if you gather friends and put on a drive to collect socks, or coffee.
Together, we can make a difference for those less fortunate.