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.