HOW to help – FAQ

How can I help a person sleeping on the streets?
Any time you see a homeless person in distress, please call 211. The operator will contact LAHSA or another service agency. An even more simple answer : ASK THEM what you can do to help.

Should I give to panhandlers?
Don’t hand out money.  And Exactly for the reason you think the answer is “no”.  Research shows  most of the money you give to off-ramp beggars and panhandlers is spent on alcohol and drugs.  My rule of thumb for deciding if someone who is panhandling is truly homeless or in need: do they have their belongings with them?

  • But more importantly – If I gave you $1.00 or $5.00 – where are you going to spend it and what good could it do you? A $5 donation to an outreach org or agency can feed that person for a day because they buy in bulk and often get corporate discount. Every penny of your $5 will go for good and sustaining health. it won’t buy cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. $25 can feed them for a week, $30 covers all services and the cost to shelter someone for a night…

DO hand out Scrip, gift cards, sack lunches and …socks. Scrip is a gift certificate to a grocery or other store. Many schools and agencies sell “Scrip” as fundraisers – and they spend just like cash.

DO give respect. Financial and housing status does  not impact a persons real worth. Everyone deserves respect. A nod in their general direction, smile, or “Hello” is all you need to extend.

How do I find an agency to donate my money, goods or time to?

Look at charitynavigator.org, and Just Give, justgive.org  for information on non-profits. It’s also good to get directly involved with local organizations and see for yourself what they are really accomplishing.

Published by Homeless

Mommy. Social worker. Nice lady seeking to end homelessness and end poverty. FightOn

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