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Reaching Out To The Homeless In Your Community

Updated on August 8, 2014
Ending homelessness begins with individuals who reach out to others in need.
Ending homelessness begins with individuals who reach out to others in need. | Source

We see them everyday; people standing on street corners begging for a handout. They appear scruffy, undernourished and disengaged with life while holding signs stating they are homeless and will work for food. We give them a glance, or ignore them while waiting for the light to change. A few of us will give them a dollar or toss some coins into their hand to provide some assistance.

The number of homeless in our society is increasing daily and is genuine concern for government and humanity. The National Coalition for the Homeless reports a 34% jump from April 2008 to April 2009 in the number of foreclosures. They also report a loss of six million jobs since the start of the recession. In May 2009 the unofficial unemployment rate was 9.4%. These statistics present cause for the increase of poor and homeless across our nation.

In addition, the lack of public assistance has declined since 2008 leaving many without means of obtaining housing, medical assistance and food resources. As one can imagine this leads to emotional stress which often results in the separation of families due to domestic violence. Generally, women are the victims of abuse and are forced into a homeless situation. And accordingly, this involves the children who must now live in the streets.

Who Are The Homeless?

The homeless person comes from all walks of life.  Women are often forced into homelessness due to loss of jobs, marital or substance abuse, and mental illness.  .
The homeless person comes from all walks of life. Women are often forced into homelessness due to loss of jobs, marital or substance abuse, and mental illness. . | Source

Meeting The Needs Of The Homeless

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Clothing is a huge need for those who are homeless.  When you can, donate your gently used items to local shelters.  Simple foods such as bread and fruit provide essential vitamins to those in need. Eggs are inexpensive food sources of protein.  Salads and greens are foods we often take for granted in our homes.  They mean so much more to those who live from day to day in need of nourishment.  Donations from caring business owners are always good for the entire community.  It encourages charity in others. Many private and public organizations seek and welcome volunteers in reaching out to the homeless of your community.
Clothing is a huge need for those who are homeless.  When you can, donate your gently used items to local shelters.
Clothing is a huge need for those who are homeless. When you can, donate your gently used items to local shelters.
Simple foods such as bread and fruit provide essential vitamins to those in need.
Simple foods such as bread and fruit provide essential vitamins to those in need.
Eggs are inexpensive food sources of protein.
Eggs are inexpensive food sources of protein.
Salads and greens are foods we often take for granted in our homes.  They mean so much more to those who live from day to day in need of nourishment.
Salads and greens are foods we often take for granted in our homes. They mean so much more to those who live from day to day in need of nourishment.
Donations from caring business owners are always good for the entire community.  It encourages charity in others.
Donations from caring business owners are always good for the entire community. It encourages charity in others.
Many private and public organizations seek and welcome volunteers in reaching out to the homeless of your community.
Many private and public organizations seek and welcome volunteers in reaching out to the homeless of your community.

Profile of The Homeless

Recently, my husband, Mike, and I served at an event reaching out to the homeless in our community. The event was sponsored by government and our local church organization working together to provide those in need with food, clothing, haircuts, basic medical testing and information on employment and housing.

As we served, we were able to chat with participants as they moved through the different stations. They shared their problems and concerns, but also expressed their gratitude. We found it very humbling. One individual, whom I will call Montana to protect her identity, carried such a positive outlook on life. It didn't matter to her that she was homeless, she had a smile for others and encouraged them to keep hoping for the best.

Another person, whom I will call Chance, shared how he had just been to the unemployment office and was told there were no jobs available. He was slightly depressed and expressed how he felt hopeless. It was a challenge for us to speak with Chance about the silver lining in life; however, we managed to help him through the disappointment and by the end of our conversation, coupled with prayers on his behalf, he was in a better mood.

Homeless people come from all walks of life. They come from all ethnic backgrounds, and from every occupation. They are families, singles, and even children. Today, there are about 1.5 million children (42% under the age of five) in the US who are homeless. In our county alone, there are 1,636 students in the public school system identified as homeless over the past school year and the number is growing (source: Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County). Lastly, another population of homeless persons is the veteran and they represent about 40% of homeless men.

It is difficult to define the typical homeless person, but each one has a need for shelter, food, health care and employment. We must look at the factors with respect to providing a solution to ending homelessness in our nation.

Source

Where Do They Live?

Here in South Florida, homeless people may live in parks, campgrounds, under bridges, abandoned buildings and vehicles, on the street and in shelters.
Here in South Florida, homeless people may live in parks, campgrounds, under bridges, abandoned buildings and vehicles, on the street and in shelters. | Source

Resource On The Homeless

How You Can Help

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." —Matthew 10:42

  • Volunteer at a shelter in your community. Shelters need help in serving food, giving out clothing and completing administrative duties. Often just a simple listening ear is helpful to those who feel like no one cares.
  • Offer your professional skills and talent. Shelters and organizations are always looking for people who possess carpentry, plumbing, catering, tutoring, counseling, and child care backgrounds.
  • Organize an event. Sponsor a fund raiser such as a talent show, musical performance, family game night to raise money in support of the homeless in your community.
  • Invite those who are homeless to a sponsored event, worship service, public outreach program or community meeting to share their views. Encourage the members to support the cause.
  • As a parent, talk to your children about homelessness and read children's books on the subject. Discuss as a family how you can volunteer in the community to aid in the relief of those who are without homes.
  • If you are a teacher, discuss the issue in the classroom and encourage students to seek out ways to help those who are without homes. Your local Coalition For The Homeless will have book lists and suggestions in reaching out to children about the homeless issue in your community.

© 2013 Dianna Mendez

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    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Olog, yes many of us are just a step away from being homeless. Finding hope through faith is always a step in the right direction.

      Suzette, thank you for your kind support. Let's hope and pray some day we see an end to homelessness.

      Sam, the homeless profile has changed within the past five years. Yes, it is mostly compiled of those without work, relationship problems, and health issues. Thanks for adding to the content through your thoughts.

      Motherof nations, thanks for your visit. Hope you have a blessed day.

      Savvy, you are a remarkable person and your reaching out to the homeless will come back to bless you over time. Thanks for adding to the discussion by sharing your experience.

    • mothersofnations profile image

      Mothers of Nations 2 years ago

      Voted up and shared! God bless you.

    • Sam Montana profile image

      Sam Montana 2 years ago

      Excellent article with great graphs. I just wrong an article about my experience with homelessness several years ago and found the same things. The government cannot do much but the churches can help a great deal. Your graph does show that much of the homeless problem is due to addiction and mental health problems, but since 2008 and today, the homeless problem really is due to low wages and incredibly high rents.

    • profile image

      suzettenaples 2 years ago

      Dianna: this is a very compassionate and heartwarming article. Homelessness is certainly a blight on our nations record. With all the resources we have available there should not be anyone homelrless in this country. Thank you for pointing out how we can help the situation I our communities. Kudos to you and your husband for the volunteer work you did in helping the homeless in your community.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 2 years ago

      Homelessnes is a huge problem. Our country really needs to "sit down" and address the issues that cause homelessness. Perhaps, if we can learn to be more proactive as a nation, we can make a dent in this cycle of poverty that comes out of abuse and despair.

      Meanwhile, I try to keep cash on hand to give to those who are obviously hungry. The other day, I saw a homeless man looking through three different garbage cans. I crossed the street over to where he was and asked him if he was hungry. He nodded solemnly. I had $20 in my purse, and gave it to him. He touched my shoulder, and asked if I had angels wings. He made me smile. Frankly, I grew up very poor. I know what it's like to live on $100 a month. But at least I had shelter, and these poor people have nothing. Wonderful article.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Nowadays, we're all just a crisis or two away from being homeless. Great article about how we can help. I like the idea of inviting them to church. I'm not sure how many actually follow through, but at least you plant a seed.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Abidareacode, it is so good to hear how you are helping people in your country. Yes, the personal satisfaction in helping others in priceless. Keep up the great work!

    • abidareacode profile image

      abidareacode 3 years ago from Areacode , Kerala, India

      Just after reading your hub "Do you have a name" I reached here since we built a home for a poor lady one year ago.The satisfaction that we got after it is beyond words.Now we are assisting technically in another home construction.Money is the main problem as our students are from medium family.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Ruby, I am so glad to hear of your wonderful giving spirit in helping others. It is indeed rewarding! Blessings and enjoy your day.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 3 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Such beautiful ways to get involved. I enjoy hanging out in the parks with them, sharing, listening, giving what I can.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Hello Millionaire, it only takes one person to make a difference to another, especially the homeless. Thanks for your support of this topic. Blessings.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      These are some startling statistics. Homelessness is unfortunately a problem people want to ignore or let someone else handle. We definitely need to do all that we can to help.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Suzanne, good to have your visit and support. Be well and safe.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      WiccanSage, your comment is filled with so much truth and gives readers a view of the present day situation of homelessness. I agree, it is a growing concern and it is not being addressed with importance. Thank you.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      There are states that adopted this strategy: sending the homeless to their families or other states. I don't believe this is a solution for the masses. Thanks for your contribution and reminding us that we need to work on the problem, not just put a band aid on it.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Leslie, I have heard interesting stories from homeless people. They are heart wrenching and some you wonder how they choose the lifestyle. I am so glad to hear of your heart for the needy. You are making a difference!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Alpha, You are so right, you can only do so much to help those in need. Yes, some choose that lifestyle and are comfortable with it. Still, for those who need support and don't know how to get out of the cycle, we reach out to help. Thanks for your view and comment.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Nell, I so love your thoughts on eradicating homelessness in the future. I love the idea of giving out blankets, especially now that we are in the winter season. Blessings, dear lady.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

      Thoughtful and insightful! Voted up, useful and awesome! :)

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Something needs to be done and I think the solution will lie in preventative measures. For example, a lot of homeless people are mentally ill-- they should be in hospitals, or some kind of care facility (at least until they get enough treatment to be self-sufficient) and even after that there needs to be follow up treatments. Same thing with drug addicts, they also need treatment and follow up, and need to be held accountable as well if they don't follow through with programs aimed at helping them. Families on the verge of sudden upheavals like evictions and such need quicker aid. Unfortunately the system is so wasteful and screwed up-- most of the govt. programs meant to help the poor just keep people poor and perpetuate the cycle of poverty. As it stands we put more people at risk for homelessness than help people. I fear the only real way there will ever be real progress is complete reform. So important to keep this topic in the headlines; I don't understand why it's not front page every day. Great hub, and bless you for doing your part.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Homelessness is a huge problem in Hawaii, where I currently live. Residents of other states, particularly California, have a nasty habit buying homeless people/those who need really need a caregiver a one way ticket to Hawaii. It sounds weird, but there's all sorts of information available about it. Anyway, that means there are lots of homeless people, particularly in Honolulu. We were walking around Waikiki yesterday and saw probably dozens of folks in tents on medians, sitting in folding chairs in the park, or literally sleeping under a towel on the sidewalk.

    • lesliebyars profile image

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      Homelessness is such a sad thing to me. Each individual person has their own story of how they ended up on the street. I live in a large city and typically see some of the same homeless people in the area. Sometimes they stand at the intersections and ask for money. I always give them money if I have it. I have also given my lunch or food that I didn't eat. They are always grateful. I wish I could do more to help them.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 3 years ago from Texas

      This is a great article teaches12345, However is it really a problem? I know several homeless people that hang out close to the boys and girls club and they choose to be homeless. I always give them something whether it be money, food, cloths, etc, but one of them told me that he makes more money pan handling than he ever did working and prefers to stay on the street. The others also choose to do drugs and stay on the street. You can only help those that actually want to be helped. Voted up on your hub though.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi teaches, this is awesome, yes we should always help as much as we can, I used to work in a charity shop and on Sundays we used to drive to the next town to give out the blankets etc that hadn't been sold, anything and everything should be done, and hopefully one of these days homelessness will be eradicated, voted up and shared, nell

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      RTalloni, thank you for your comment on this post. I only wish there were more we could do for those in need. Be blessed in 2014.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Dear Barbara, please forgive my late response to your comment. I am just now catching it and appreciate your support. How wonderful that you crochet clothing for those in need. It is the little things that make such a big difference! So happy for your daughter and her landing a job. You are truly a wonderful person. Blessings in 2014.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Here I see that you've already shared some of your experiences in reaching out to the homeless in your own community and added some good encouragement with tips for others who are willing to get in the trenches to help. Thank you for highlighting the topic here and for encouraging others to do the same, and for also providing a venue for those who have done/are doing so to share how so others can see how to begin!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      We are starting to see more houses in our area being foreclosed again. A government program is needed to help these people to keep them from losing their homes. It is just too bad that the economy can't get back to normal.

      I don't live close enough to a shelter, but I do help with money and I crochet hats and scarves for them. We've opened our home from time to time to help relatives that lose their jobs. My daughter's answer was finally to move to another state and she has been working ever since.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Sanxuary, thank you for stopping by the hub post. It is true that many of us do share our homes with those in need.

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 4 years ago

      Who has to reach out anymore? Most of them are still living in your home.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mythbuster, I agree on your thoughts about shame. We work with the homeless and it is a general attitude they deal with daily. Some of them have just had a bad turn in life and truly are wonderful people. Thanks for your support. Blessings.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 4 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Thank you for writing this hub, teaches12345. I hope this article will appeal to many and allow people to openly discuss the topic of homelessness. I think this topic is encased in a lot of shame, embarrassment, stigma, so the more it is talked about from all angles, the sooner the discomforts can lessen so that the topic can have the attention it deserves.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      So sorry I have not responded earlier to all the wonderful comments.

      Thank you Victoria. Condominium, Peter, and CMHypno, for your visit and support. Seems like many of you are already helping people in need and making a difference in lives. They need our help to make it each day. Blessings to each of you!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Thank you for this great hub. I think that the idea of being homeless scares many people so much that they can't look at it, so they ignore the problem. Over here in the UK there is still talk of the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor, as if any human being deserves to spend their lives in hunger and want on the street.

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear teaches12345,

      Many forget in our busy lives, that it costs us so little in time or money to spare a kind word, action or a little change which can brighten someone's sad world. I was always taught - stop, think for a moment, imagine yourself in that persons position - what would you dearly want that passerby to do. Then do it - but for the grace of God etc.

      Voted up, useful and beautiful

      Kind regards Peter

    • condominium profile image

      Jeffrey Dela Costa 4 years ago from Philippines

      This is such a prevalent problem as well in the Philippines. Just a few days ago I was walking near my old neighborhood at the projects (project 4) and I found a homeless person lying down on the street, with his whole family there as well. This is such an important issue, and what do you know, our president just bought two new warships for the navy today instead of addressing poverty. I am proud of the economic progress our country has been achieving but I think this progress is far too concentrated at the top. I wish more people could take part in this progress especially those who are homeless.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is so important. I helped a group of people serve a meal at our local homeless center. It felt good to help, but I'm sure there is so much more I can do. Thanks for spreading the word. Voted up and more.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      SRsddn, I admire your service to homeless children. What a wonderful way to help those in need. I hate that little children have to endure the homeless environment, let's hope and pray that we see this lessen as we reach out to help. Blessings!

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      teaches12345, Figures about the homeless are staggering. I am impressed the way you have introduced this problem and suggested ways of helping such people. I think each member of the society has to contribute in whatever way he or she can. We as a family have been contributing a bit to the education of homeless children thinking that by getting educated they will be better equipped to face the world. Voted up and shared the Hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mrs. Brown, working with people in need has increased my sense of obligation in serving oters, just thought I would share some of the background. Thanks for stopping by and sharing from your thoughts. Enjoy your day.

      Dr. Carlotta, I would love to hear from your experience on helping others to find strength and hope. Thanks for reflecting upon this subject. Take care and God bless you.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 4 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      WOW! I love this article. I have been serving the homeless community for 17 years. In the church settings, under the bridges, soup kitchens, etc. Life does not seem right as a human beings if we don't have compassion for the unfortunate. God bless you!!! Voted-up!

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank you for writing about people in need who should not be ignored! This is well-written with helpful resources. Voted up. :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Yes, Florida has made the law in some areas not to help the homeless when out in public. However, the number of shelters and outreach as greatly increased. Maybe it wasn't such a bad law after all, it has forced citizens to pitch in to help those in need. You never know what a person is going through and why they are homeless. Except for those few who are taking advantage of others, helping someone to get through a painful experience is what makes us truly human. Thank you for adding such an insightful comment here and may God bless you as you reach out to others, dear friend.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      Toward the end of the month I'll be volunteering to sort food for Harvesters, which provides food to those in need.

      I've been a bit dismayed at the laws that have sprouted up in places like Texas and Florida that now make it a crime to offer food or money to a homeless person.

      I'm on the fence sometimes, because I have been right alongside them for an extended period and saw many people refuse the assistance that could have gotten them out of that lifestyle. Many of them were addicts and/or mentally ill. I felt like helping them was enabling them, but not helping them was sometimes painful.

      I still struggle with this.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Lindacee, I do not understand the channeling of funds to other nations when we have many in need here in the US. It is indeed a sad story. Thank you for coming by and for your added contribution to the topic. Enjoy your week.

      Teacher Joe, I didn't realize this was so prominent in China as well. It is such a horrible thought to know that the elderly are forced to live out there life in this fashion. Here, we as individuals can make a difference if we just reach out to those around us, as we can. God bless you, dear brother.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 4 years ago

      Good morning little sister.

      This is a really great article with fantastic tips.

      Believe me homelessness is a world wide plague. Do you know many seniors are literally living in cages in Hong Kong? They are old wired container boxes that look like cages. I recently read an article about it. They cannot find any other place to live.

      God bless you for sharing your heart, mind and resources to help those in such desperate needs.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      It breaks my heart that we, as a nation, refuse to help our citizens in need. Yes, individuals can certainly help, but it is time for our government to get actively involved by using money earmarked for foreign aid to help our own. Your informative Hub really hits home. The statistics you present are staggering. Thanks for bringing the seriousness of this issue to light and offering ways we can make a difference.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Jackie, it is a shame that we have so much for other countries but cannot provide for our own. I don't understand that one either. If the Bible were followed, then we would not have so many needy people in our country. Yes, there are millions of homeless children attending schools in our nation today. I even have college students who are homeless. Thank you for your support and insightful add to this issue. Blessings.

      Torri, I appreciate the many people who have reached out to me in my times of need, it just is following the Golden Rule to do likewise. You have added food to digest here and it is much appreciated. Take care, dear one.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Teaches12345,

      I think that it is great for someone to reach out to the homeless they are of great need they need the support and care of society in order to get back on their feet again. Voted up and shared.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have never understood homeless in this country. The bible says even the heathen take care of their own first yet we send millions to terrorists while people here freeze and starve and it really hurts me thinking about the old women and children, especially. I have written about it before and had people actually tell me they do not believe there are homeless children that go to school.

      Hope you reach many with this, up and sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vinaya, that is a very sad statistic. The number of homeless continues to grow in our country as well. Let's hope that the global economy changes over the next year to see better employment and outreach to all people. Thanks for your visit and comment. I hope you are having a good day.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      I was not aware about the issue of homeless people in the west. Here in my country 25 percent of the population live in less than 2 dollars a day, which means lots of people are homeless.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Lady E, I too pray we see an end to it soon. The homeless will be blessed by your presence and faith.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      I'm so glad you wrote this. Even in UK, there are professionals who sadly lose their homes, as they can't keep up with payments and they are rendered homeless. I used to volunteer in a Library once a week to help the elderly to use computers. If I am to volunteer again, I will go for working with the Homeless. As many who are facing this problem right now, I pray it's not for long.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Victoria, is is unreal at how many homeless we have in America. Hopefully, we will see solutions to this in the near future. Thanks for the support. Take care.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      teaches--The statistics are staggering. It's unreal how many people are homeless. It is a huge problem; this hub is great in spreading awareness. Voted up and more.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Ignugent, I always see this one homless lady around a busy corner on the way to work. She is elderly, walks with a limp and is hunched over as she carries several huge bags of clothing. It is so sad. I think about what put her in this type of lifestyle. I hope we do see an end to it someday. Blessings, friend.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      It makes me sad to see these things happening to a person. I do hope they will get the help they need.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mhatter,

      Eddy,

      DEborah,

      Fossillady,

      Drbj,

      Tom,

      Dwachira,

      Mary,

      Izettl,

      Gail,

      Prettynutjob,

      Girishpuri,

      Everyone, thank you for your comments and support of this topic. I have a heart for those who are in need of compassion and encouragement through life. Even though some homeless may be able to help themselves, those that cannot are in need of our assistance with daily living. It is good to hear how many of you also volunteer to make a difference. I so appreciate each of you and value your thoughts and sharing. Blessings.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Dianna, thank you so much for bringing such unfortunate people into light, Luck is always not good for every one, thee are their bad times and we must help them guide them and sympathies them, touching an heartfelt hub, God bless you an yours.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, very compassionate and heartfelt, voted up and shared.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      Great hub on an important topic. I have also been involved with various aspects of this over the years. There are some who actually prefer to be homeless. There was also an article in our newspaper several years ago about a couple of guys who were collecting money at the stop lights, but staying in a nice hotel, etc. However, I think the vast majority of the time it is a very serious issue. There are a whole lot of families within one paycheck of being homeless and it is increasing all the time. There is also a webpage that coordinates a lot of volunteer projects at meetup.com. I know there is more to that web page than just volunteer opportunities, but someone can subscribe to whatever volunteer group they are interested in.

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 4 years ago from The Great Northwest

      You say assistance has decreased and I thought Obama/democrats were known to assist people more with programs and financial assistance. Interesting it has gone down since 2008 when Obama took office.

      Most homeless need mental health help and many homeless in my area, Portland Oregon, prefer it and have chosen it as a way of life. There are a lot of second and third generation hippies in Oregon.

      There are many decent programs for women of abuse situations and their kids. I think the real issue is substance abuse, mental health, and the reason why so many prisoners return or become repeat offenders is because this is the way of life they have learned. This is the same as the homeless. For many there is no program or assistance to help them transition back into mainstream.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I am reminded of the quote, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." Any of us could find ourselves homeless. I had a friend who was married to a well to do man. She had everything. Before he left her, he cleaned out their bank accounts leaving her with nothing, and she cannot work because of her health. Now she depends of friends.

      I volunteer at our local Church's soup kitchen and at Thanksgiving we make sure the homeless get food.

      Voted UP, and will share.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi teaches12345,

      Homeless is a global problem, families living on streets without food, shelter, clothes or medicare. While the governments should work more on this problems, we can all make a difference and put a smile on homeless persons by sharing the little we could have. Voted up, useful and shared.

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 4 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Thanks for taking time to bring awareness to such a problematic issue that continues to plague our country. I'm curious, however, why our government diverts millions of tax payer's dollars each year to other countries to help feed their homeless and yet we can't seem to identify a viable solution to fix our own situation.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Cannot believe that statistic, Dianna, though I know it is true: 'today there are about 1.5 million children (42% under the age of five) in the US who are homeless.' And America is supposed to be the land of plenty. Thanks for reminding each one of us that we can and must do more!

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      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Wonderful hub which gets the word out on the current levels that are growing. Everyday, I thank God that I have a home to keep me warm and sheltered. In my community, it's small, so we don't see this. There are no reminders what's happening. Makes me want to help out so thanks for listing some ways to do that! Kathi :O)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Excellent hub and a really important message to share. Good for you and your husband to give your time to serve the homeless!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A wonderfuly kind and caring hub Dianna;thank you so much for sharing and I wish you a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for calling attention to this. My charity forte was the youth. Though I put in my time in soup kitchens.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      MJkearn, I admire your caring way of helping others in need. It is true that some people are scam artists, but still, we do give from our heart for a just cause. So sorry you experienced such hardship, but it sounds like you have come out on top of it all. Blessings.

      Carol, I think the homeless are in every town across our nation. It hits at the heart of our cities. Your idea of donating to food banks is what we can all do to help those who are in need.

      Janine, thank you for our support and reflection of this post. As always, I appreciate your sharing and encouragement. Blessings.

      Mperrot, it is amazing how many homless are vets. I believe some of these are those who have need of medical benefits in high numbers. It does cause them to lack in proper shelter due to the expense of health care.

      Unkown, thanks so much for your visit here and positive comment. Take care.

      Wayne, since the recession many have been forced into homelessness. The government doesn't have answers for all of the needs and funding is limited. We can help by donating from our abundance and time in reaching out to the homeless.

      Bill, I thank you for your support. I did post it on the site. Thank you for checking. Yes, you don't have to go too far around a city to notice the numbers who are homeless.

      Annette, I think Matthew 10:42 does speak from the heart what true charity represents to others. Giving is one way we can show people love and hope. Thanks for your support.

      Maanasi, I do appreciate your visit here today. Many thanks for leaving such a positive comment.

      Cam, thank you for reposting this on your FB page. I will have to get over and check it out. Your helping other writers in this way is a great idea.

      Faith, I agree, if we all pitched in homelessness would cease to exist. I admire your outreach to the homeless. You are surely making a difference to many who need to know people still care. God bless you, dear lady.

      Alicia, if I can help others to take on just one aspect of the homless cause, it would be so worthwhile writing. Thank you for your feedback and support.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's horrible to be homeless, and the increasing number of people without their own home is a very worrying trend. Thank you for this hub and for reminding us that we need to offer homeless people our help.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi teaches,

      Thanks for this insightful hub, and I truly believe if we all pull together that homelessness in America, especially of all places, could be no more! My eyes were opened to the homeless around the building in which I work in the city, and so I began my own personal ministry to help the homeless. This was around 2005, I believe, as I was convicted to serve the homeless one very hot July afternoon, where the temperatures here in the South were 110 degrees! I know I saw the face of Jesus. When I do serve in any type of ministry, I try to keep in in line with what God tells us in Matthew 25 . . . those needing water, clothing, etc., as these least of these, may very well be Him. I have shared a poem and hub here of my experiences with the homeless. It was always a blessing to me to serve them, as we all could very well be one paycheck away from being homeless ourselves! I was amazed at the children who are homeless in America, which is heartbreaking.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you dear lady. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Thank you for keeping the issue alive by means of this hub and for providing practical ways of being involved. I will share this on my fb page which is dedicated to freelance writers.

      http://www.facebook.com/cam8510?ref=hl

    • Maanasi profile image

      Maanasi Radhakrishnan 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

      A really awesome hub...Each of us should indeed contribute wateva lil possible. as every drop makes a mighty ocean!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you for sharing this message, Dianna. I love the Matthew 10:42 quote. One of the most rewarding experiences for my family was the year we served Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter in central Texas. It was a day of blessings all around.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for a great look at a national problem. We went for a drive this weekend and it was unbelievable how many homeless we saw during that drive. I hope you posted this on the H.O.W. page....I'll check and make sure you did.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

      Your piece paints a very well-defined picture of the homeless that I have not yet seen. As a society, we get ripped-off enough that we all grow callous to the needs of others who are really in need. The help which you describe is as it should be...coming from the community and not some wasteful government program which comes without emotion or caring. This is the consequence of our current situation and it is certainly not a picture we like to see. Those suffering through this stage of life did not ask for it but were surely cast into it by many circumstances of our economy and direction. Hopefully your effort will result in all of us looking for more ways to truly help those in need. Thanks much for sharing. ~WB

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      great message for all people who have the hearts to listen. great suggestions too.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      I'm shocked at how many of our vets represent the homeless population. Good ideas on how we can help to alleviate this growing problem. Voted up and useful.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful message here and loved the suggestions at the end, too. Thanks seriously for talking about this important topic and bringing it to light here this morning. Have of course voted up and shared, too!! :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for bringing this to light, even though we are all aware of the problem. How can we miss? THough we have less of this in Prescott area due tobeing a small town it does exist. and yes there are many even small ways of helping. Donating to the food bank is a major one and helping when we can. Thank you Voting up and sharing.

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Teaches

      Wonderful hub and super needed topic. This is a subject that I can relate to and have often wondered why governments can't buy up old buildings and turn them into dormitories of some kind.

      There is no excuse for people being homeless, except perhaps for those who have succumbed to drugs and alcohol but even then an offer of help is required.

      I so believe in helping others especially when they ask or make a little effort themselves.

      This situation was brought even closer to my heart when I myself received an eviction notice from an overzealous lender who had removed themselves from doing business in Ireland and decided they could then step outside Irish Law.

      I'm not in that bad a shape but having been given 12 days to vacate my property it suddenly dawned on me, with no family, I'd suddenly be on the street.

      Having worked all my life, paid my way and been made redundant a couple of years ago this seemed unbelievable. With over 400 job applications since it makes me think that age may be a big factor or there really aren't very many jobs available.

      I've never been able to pass a cup or person in the street without helping and while some make the argument that some of these people are scam artists I prefer to think that I have helped someone and my intentions were in the right place.

      Voted up and shared. Wonderful job on this hub.

      MJ.