Community Homeless Awareness

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We’ve noticed a few homeless persons camping with their belongings in the area of 9th and Trevitt Streets in The Dalles. Please be mindful of these persons in our community, many have mental health and/or addiction issues.

Here are 10 things you can do to help the homeless in our community.

Respect the homeless as individuals

Give homeless people the same courtesy and respect you would accord your friends, your family, your employer. Treat them as you would wish to be treated if you needed assistance.

Respond with kindness

We can make quite a difference in the lives of the homeless when we respond to them, rather than ignore or dismiss them. Try a kind word and a smile.

Develop lists of shelters

Carry a card that lists local shelters so you can hand them out to the homeless. You can find shelters in your phone book.

Bring food

It’s as simple as taking a few extra sandwiches when you go out. When you pass someone who asks for change, offer him or her something to eat. If you take a lunch, pack a little extra. When you eat at a restaurant, order something to take with you when you leave.

Give money

One of the most direct ways to aid the homeless is to give money. Donations to non-profit organizations that serve the homeless go a long way. DO NOT give money directly to the homeless person, but offer to purchase a meal for them or other necessities of life.

Donate clothing

Next time you do your spring or fall cleaning, keep an eye out for those clothes that you no longer wear. If these items are in good condition, gather them together and donate them to organizations that provide housing for the homeless.

Donate a bag of groceries

Load up a bag full of non-perishable groceries and donate it to a food drive in your area. If your community doesn’t have a food drive, organize one. Contact your local soup kitchens, shelters, and homeless societies and ask what kind of food donations they would like.

Volunteer at a shelter

Shelters thrive on the work of volunteers, from those who sign people in, to those who serve meals, to others who counsel the homeless on where to get social services. For the homeless, a shelter can be as little as a place to sleep out of the rain or as much as a step forward to self-sufficiency.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen

Soup kitchens provide one of the basics of life, nourishing meals for the homeless and other disadvantaged members of the community. Volunteers generally do much of the work, including picking up donations of food, preparing meals, serving it, and cleaning up afterward. To volunteer your services, contact your local soup kitchen, mobile food program, shelter, or religious center.

Advocate

Get involved in your local community. Help agencies in your area whose policy and initiatives support the goal of ending homelessness.

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