For those wanting to help: HELPING AND CARINGS's goal is to not only help the homeless but to help people at risk of losing their homes. We want to prevent people from reaching that point. While we need to assist these people with housing, it is often not enough to end homelessness. There needs to be supportive services such as providing assistance in obtaining disability benefits, providing transportation, offering job training assistance, etc. Without these services, people may still struggle even if they are provided with housing. One way to help is to work with different local organizations to help the homeless or people in poverty to get them back on their feet and provide supportive services yourself. You can also petition for homeless to get more support. It is a struggle to afford many things which can lead to homelessness or cause people to struggle, living in poverty. By starting and/or signing petitions we can help these people receive support. Also, until we can help these people find more permanent housing, we need to provide short-term shelters so that they can stabilize themselves first. The amount of people living in the streets needs to be lowered and if we can provide shelters for all homeless people, eventually we can reduce the total number of homeless. It takes more for people to become stable if they are in the streets, as they may be in unsafe conditions. Living in the streets is dangerous due to weather, harassment, etc. Another thing we need to work towards is lowering rent, so that it is more affordable and people are not being pushed into poverty. Many also cannot afford rent due to low wages. People cannot afford rent, food, and healthcare with such low wages and are often forced to choose between things. This may lead to homeless numbers increasing, people going hungry, or not accessing healthcare.
The first step: We need to get to the root of the problem and stop people from becoming homeless in the first place, instead of just trying to help after. Healthcare, for example, is much more expensive than other countries. H ospital costs are even increasing much faster than professional salaries, In other countries, prices for drugs and healthcare are at least partially controlled by the government, but in the U.S. prices depend on market forces. Hospital care is already expensive but more recently, Covid-19 has been a large part of the decline in the economy, and many hospitals are on the brink financially. Like in other countries, citizens should be able to receive healthcare without having to worry so much about the costs. Most of the time, people cannot control when they need healthcare and should not have to give up healthcare or deal with paying extensive hospital bills. Overall, we need to push for more affordable rent, higher wages, and less expensive healthcare. This will result in a more long-term fix rather than donating which is just temporary help (donating is still helpful too).
Short-term or immediate help: If you are looking to take action and have a more immediate effect, you should donate to trusted charities such as the ones listed on our website. You can also volunteer to help them, for example, through supportive services to provide housing, transportation, and assist with jobs like we mentioned above. Also, you can feed the homeless by volunteering at shelters or soup kitchens. Fundraising is also a great way to provide the homeless with more money, so they can stabilize themselves. These steps are not as long-lasting as the ones above since homeless people need more to improve their situations, but they have a quicker effect. This will help people without homes until they are in a place where they can start to improve their situation. Fundraising, raising awareness, donating money, and volunteering all help homeless people until they are stable, and can reduce the number of homeless. It is important to stop homelessness before it begins, but until then we should still continue with these steps to reduce the population of homeless people.
How to get help as a homeless person: For temporary shelters, you can go to a local drop in center. It may be hard accept emergency shelter, so a drop in center is a good place to go for shelter until you know you can trust the staff and then you can head to transitional or permanent housing. If you are in a situation where you must live on the streets and cannot access shelter, here are some tips to survive. You should get a rucksack or bag to hold your belongings and keep hold of your sleeping bag or have a safe place to store it. Clothes are expensive so when you earn money invest in waterproof pants and a coat. Keep spare food in a container to keep rats, squirrels, etc out. To stay safe, sleep in a hidden place as shelter and sleep in groups (possibly make contact with others). You may have seen our website link around or heard of it through others, so if that is the case, there is a chance you are looking at this through free WiFi. It is different for every area so searching for local organizations (we are located in MA) which offer shelter, a free hot meal and shower, or even blanket exchange so you have a new blanket rather than a dirty one. If you have questions, please contact us and we will give advice for your specific situtation.