How Can We Help The Homeless People Of Central Minnesota
CAN YOU IMAGINE...
On chilly Minnesota nights, we get in our warm pajamas, nestle in our beds, covered in cozy blankets and settle in for a good nights sleep. The snow, freezing rain, sleet, and winds are heard outside, but we feel safe and warm; sheltered by our homes, no matter how big or small; it's our sanctuary.
As we drive to work day after day, we see people on street corners, holding signs, looking cold and defeated. It's hard to know what to do or say; So the question is: What CAN we do for the homeless?
We tell ourselves that these people are actually NOT homeless. They are lazy; and this is the easiest way for them to earn money.
Reality is: Many of the people that you see on these corners, have endured hardships that you and I may not be able to imagine.
Reality is:Many of these people have mental illnesses; they have no family; they have no job because they are sick or alone.
Reality is:They are hungry.They are cold.They are alone.
Reality is: We close our eyes everyday that we drive by, rather than thinking about what we can do to help them.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THE HOMELESS?
It takes some preparation. For fear for our families, we do not open our doors. Too often, we close our eyes and hope that someone else will help. But we can do SOMETHING.
- Bring them a list of shelters: We have to remember that those who have nothing, may not know where to turn to get help. Hand the homeless a list of shelters in the area, so they can find help.
- Bring Food: The next time you're at the grocery store, buy an extra bag of apples, or have your family make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Bring food and hand it out to those you see on the street in need.
- Bring them clothing or offer a blanket: If you can imagine sleeping in weather that's below zero, with no shelter, imagine what a warm blanket or clothing could mean to that person.
- Understand who the homeless are: Sometimes the homeless have many different reasons for being that way.
- Respect the homeless as individuals: They could be a runaway child, someone who lost their job, a veteran, and could be suffering from a mental illness.
- Employ the homeless: Are you an Employer? Perhaps you have a job that you can offer to someone who is willing to work?
- Help the homeless apply for aid: Many homeless people don't know where to turn. Since they don't have a mailing address, the government cannot contact them to let them know if assistance is out there. Direct the homeless to organizations that can help them.