What is the best thing to give to a homeless person
Whenever I see a homeless person, the immediate thought is how can I help him or her. I could not imagine how it would feel to have nowhere to call home. Then my thoughts turn to desperation: how cold it must feel being outside all the time, how hungry and thirsty that person must be if they cannot afford food or water.
Giving a homeless person money is not always a solution.
The best thing to give a homeless person is a kind word, have a conversation with him or her if safe to do so. If you know of a Shelter in the local area, tell them where it is.
If you believe the person is over 18:
Streetlink helps people sleeping rough and can connect the person to local services for support if the person is over 18. You can use the link to send an alert to your Local Authority or outreach service. In severe weather, Local Authorities have a moral obligation to ensure that there is provision in place for people sleeping rough to prevent deaths.
You could also reach out to homeless.org.uk to check which services are local to you here.
If you believe the person is under 18:
You should contact the Police.
How you can directly help:
You could give the person the following:
- A refillable water bottle.
- Clothing (coat, shoes, socks, scarf, hat, gloves, blanket)
- Gift certificate to buy food.
- A packet of crackers.
- Cereal bars.
- Fruit snacks.
- Toothbrush/toothpaste/dental floss
- Hand wipes.
Become a Volunteer:
- Crisis (UK)
- Shelter (UK)
- Streetlink (London Area)
- HomeLess England (wider sector)
- Salvation Army
- Streets of London (London)
- Centrepoint (London)
This will not solve the person’s homeless situation, but it can help. It will let them feel cared for that day, in that moment. Random acts of kindness can really change peoples lives who find themselves in difficult situations. #BeKind