What do you do when you see someone holding up a sign, “Will work for Food?”
Do you give them money or do you pretend you don’t see them? No one likes to be confronted by the homeless – their needs seem overwhelming – but we want to treat them fairly and justly.
Here are some simple guidelines to help you truly help the next homeless person you meet:
- Never give cash to a homeless person
Well intended gifts are often used to purchase drugs or alcohol. Giving money may not be the best thing you could do for this person.
Keep a bottle of water and a granola bar or cracker pack for when you encounter someone with a cardboard sign. If someone is truly in need, they will appreciate food.
You can also keep fast food $1.00 gift books with you or purchase a $5 gift card that you can share when you encounter a person in need. Gift cards from restaurants that do not serve alcohol can help you know that your gift is being used for its intended purpose.
If a person is hungry, buy them a sandwich or beverage.
- Talk with the homeless person with respect
In safe, well-populated locations, greet the poor and homeless eye-to-eye. Everyone likes to be acknowledged.
Take time to speak in a friendly, respectful manner.
- Realize the homeless and their problems are not all the same
Remember those who are homeless may be homeless for many reasons, such as addictions, domestic abuse, poverty, lack of job skills…the list goes on.
- Share God’s love whenever you can
The Lord would have us to share His love and salvation with everyone we come in contact with each day. Those who are homeless often feel isolated and lonely. They need to hear that their shattered lives can be mended through and in Christ.
- Pray for the homeless and the Rescue Mission of Cape Fear
God can use your prayers to bring many who are broken in heart and spirit to Himself. As you pray for those who are homeless pray for the Rescue Mission. Our staff is reaching out to share the love of God with men, women, and children in need every day.
- Take precautions for your own safety
Always be aware of your surroundings when reaching out to the homeless. Stay in areas where other people can see you. Don’t take unnecessary chances. Some men and women living on the streets are criminals and/or fugitives from the law. Use good judgment.
- Encourage the homeless to get help at the Rescue Mission of Cape Fear
The Rescue Mission provides a hot meal, safe-shelter, clean clothing, biblical counsel & people that care.
- Support the Rescue Mission
The Rescue Mission is supported entirely by gifts from individuals, churches, businesses, civic groups, organizations, foundations, grants, and bequests. When you give a financial gift to the Rescue Mission, you can rest assured that your funds will be used to help those who are hungry and homeless, 365 days a year.