Last Thanksgiving, I posted this message on our website and received a favorable response from my clients. I thought it might be good to repost since the homeless have been especially hard hit this year.
November 21, 2019
With the recent blast of frigid air and Thanksgiving around the corner, I would like to share a very personal experience that I’m sure has happened to you also.
Recently, while waiting for a traffic light, I was overwhelmed when I saw a man standing on the street corner asking for help. His shoes and clothing weren’t adequate for the sub-zero temperature. Even though we are advised not to give people money, my thoughts stayed with this young man’s situation as I proceeded on my way. How can I offer them a hand-up instead of a hand-out?
After some research, I found this quick link to St. Stephen’s Handbook of the Streets when I can print resources that offer help; a quick meal or shower or a place to sleep. I now include this Street Outreach flyer in a small bag of packaged snacks that I can give to those in need. Next time, I will be prepared to offer help in a meaningful way.
I’m sure that you have experienced similar feelings of sympathy and guilt in these situations. I would welcome your ideas or suggestions of other items to include in my packages.