The reasons behind families facing homelessness can vary. They can include anything from job loss to natural disasters to domestic violence. In many cases, these families haven’t lost only their homes, they’ve lost their personal belongings too. There are many ways to help meet the needs surrounding homelessness and housing insecurity; here are a few ways in which you can get involved in your own community.
Become a Volunteer
Not only will volunteering give you the opportunity to assist families facing homelessness, but it’s also a great way to get educated regarding the needs that often accompany homelessness, including clothing, employment, counseling, and education/childcare. Shelters, skill centers, and children’s programs are usually understaffed and in need of volunteers.
Find Ways To Advocate
Once you have experienced working with individuals experiencing homelessness, a great next step is to educate and spread awareness. Bringing about change begins with bringing awareness to your community and local government. Educating the community also looks like working to change negative vocabulary and attitudes that are often associated with the stigma of homelessness. Homeless people are people, and they deserve the respect you would show to anyone else.
Whether due to economic hardship or natural disasters, people facing homelessness often have many needs. Items like clothing, household items, food, technology devices like cell phones and computers, and even job opportunities are, in many cases, immediate needs for families facing extreme hardship. Also, most non-profit organizations accept financial contributions that go towards the above items. On the flip side, if you personally know someone experiencing homelessness, you could give to them directly – just keep in mind that it’s more helpful to ask what they might need rather than making any assumptions.
Finally, don’t forget the power of compassion. Individuals experiencing homelessness deserve to feel dignity in the midst of their loss and current circumstances. A kind word and a smile can go a long way in showing solidarity with families and individuals who are navigating housing insecurity.
If you’re looking for work, whether it’s full-time or just a few shifts each week, Arbor Associates is here to help.