7 Point Plan to Become a Champion for Alleviating Homelessness
1. Engage The Person
Homeless people are people. Smile and say hello. Treat the person as you would anyone else. Introduce yourself and learn his/her name. Acknowledging them shows respect and gives dignity.
2. Ask Questions
Start a conversation by asking questions. Learn where they are from. Ask their name. Inquire about what they need most. Would They Like to Share Their Story?
3. Offer to Have a Meal with Them
A meal can ease the flow of conversation. You could also invite them to attend your House of Worship or a community activity.
4. Donate Items to a Person In Need
If you’ve ever been approached by a homeless man or woman, you may have felt uncomfortable about how to respond when asked for money. You can anticipate these opportunities by making some care kits in advance to keep in your vehicle. These can be a good alternative for situations when giving money isn’t the best option. The following items can be placed in quart- or gallon-size Ziploc bags: Socks, Band-Aids, Reusable Water Bottle, Lotion, Moisturizing Lotion and Lip Balm, Anti-Bacterial Lotions, Soap/Shampoo (unused from hotel visits), Toothpaste/Toothbrush, Towel/Washcloth, Comb/Brush/Razor, Snacks/Non-Perishable Food, Gift Cards/Certificates.
5. Host a Documentary Screening
By hosting a screening of the documentary in your city (whether it's at a community forum, church or service club) you can have a major impact in raising awareness of the plight of the homeless. The producers of the documentary encourage homeless advocates and consumers to disseminate the film in relevant public venues. If you would like to host a screening, please contact the producers of the film by email here.
By volunteering your time and energy, you can play a major role in alleviating homelessness in SLO County. The good news is that every homeless service provider has an opportunity for volunteers to help out. Whether its providing direct services to clients, assisting in community awareness volunteers are in critical need. For more information about potential volunteer opportunities, please contact homeless service providers directly (see "Resources" page for website links) or visit VolunteerSLO. For more info about VolunteerSLO, please see the video below:
Local homeless service providers all rely significantly on the financial support of donors. By donating to these charitable organizations, you can rest assured that your financial contribution will have a significant impact in assisting unhoused individuals. To find out how you can financially contribute, please contact homeless service providers directly (see "Resource Page" for contact information) and/or visit GuideStar to verify the organization's nonprofit status and view additional financial information so you can make an informed decision regarding providing financial support.