ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Homeless at the Holidays

Updated on November 2, 2017

As the temperatures drop and the holidays approach, feelings of goodwill and charity have a tendency to arise. For some, this means picking an “angel” off a tree and buying toys and presents for that child. For others, it can mean giving a charitable donation. Charity Navigator reports, “The year-end holidays are a time of religious and moral reflection that inspire many people to reach out to those who are in need.”

If you stop at nearly any stop light in a major city, you know that there is no shortage of those who are in need. At this time of year perhaps you’ve asked yourself, “what does he/she do when the weather turns cold?” Or maybe you have good intentions to help, but no cash to give. In the age of electronic deposits, having cash on hand can be a burden and further, maybe you feel uncomfortable giving your precious cash away not knowing where it will end up. If I give a stranger a dollar, will he/she use it to buy a wholesome, nutritious meal? Or will he/she buy drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.?

I spoke with an older man, Jim*, standing at a cross street on Calliope St. in New Orleans, and asked what he does with the cash he gets. “Mostly, I buy food. But I’m also saving for a phone. It’s hard to get around without a phone.” I then asked if a person didn’t have cash, was there anything he would like to get instead. “Snacks are good. I like granola bars. And bottled water is also good.” According to Feeding America “in Louisiana, 23% of seniors, nearly one-in-four, face the threat of hunger. This ranks Louisiana as the second worst state for senior hunger.” So small gifts of food are often appreciated. Another man I approached replied enthusiastically, “Socks! I need clean socks.”

When asked what he does when the weather turns cold Jim replied that he would mostly stay in his “den”. And if it gets really cold, he goes under the bridge. “Why not go to a shelter?” I asked. “Sometimes I do. But most places only allow you to stay a couple of days. And when it is cold, a lot of the places get full.” Trying to transport not only himself but all of his worldly possessions across town can be an inconvenience. He remarked that on cold nights, having a pair of gloves would be helpful.

This holiday season -- and really all year-round -- if you are feeling charitable but also strapped for cash, I would encourage you to get creative with your giving. It doesn’t hurt to carry extra gloves, bottled water, small snacks, etc. in your car. A 6-pack of granola bars is $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. You can essentially give away 6 breakfasts for just under $0.17 per bar. Generosity and goodwill towards men doesn’t always have to be a big production. Sometimes it is the little moments that brighten someone’s day, especially this time of year.


*Name changed


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)