I often see people on the streets, holding cardboard signs and walking back and forth. They are asking for money most of the time. If not money, they ask for anything, anything you can do for them.
You shouldn’t be afraid of homeless people just because they’re homeless- you should treat them with caution but respect, like you would any stranger while you were walking down the sidewalk. After all, they are people too and they don’t deserve the hate or misfortune that they’ve gotten. There are some bad homeless people, but there are also some bad homeowners, and I don’t think we should instantly connect the word “homeless” with evil, scary, bad, lazy, or any other insults. There are good apples and bad apples with every group.
I often wish to do something for them- give them money, maybe, or just hope that one day their life will get better. Sadly, homeless people don’t always benefit from money. It is better to give them a prepaid gift card to Target or some other convenience store so that they will be exposed to helpful, necessary items and not bad choices that may appear in a land full of uncertainty and poverty.
Giving gift cards isn’t the only thing you can do though. If they have a pet with them, you can give it some food. You can also give the owner some food. I suggest carrying around a couple of paper bags filled with vegetable sticks, water, maybe a peanut-butter sandwich, string cheese, an apple, and other healthy items with you so that when you see a homeless person asking for help, you can give them something to fill their stomach. Something that will be helpful to them, even though it’s only a bit, something that will show them you care. Let your parents pass it through the car window or give it to them when you walk by, and always remember to tell them what is in it and ask if they’re allergic.
If you see someone who looks impoverished or homeless in a certain neighborhood, city, or area and they come there regularly, you can alert any soup kitchens or organizations nearby that this person might need help. Sadly, some people are homeless because they are mentally ill, and therefore it is hard to help. However, there are programs specially designed to help the mentally disabled and challenged and by alerting them, you will be showing that person the way to a place where they can get what they need.
You can organize food drives for your local food bank, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or raise money to buy many gift cards and go distributing them all over your town. Whatever you choose to do, we at Bonsai will be very proud of you for stepping up and making the world a better place.
Homelessness is a big issue where I live, and in many other places in the world. Even if it is a small thing you do to help a homeless person, it will still bring a smile to their face or put food in their stomach.
Thank you for supporting those who may not be able to support themselves.
Ceej, Vice President of Bonsai