Buy a sandwich or some other food for a homeless person.
Make sure you give it to him/her yourself.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
This week we’ll be helping homeless people. Many of us pass by homeless people almost on daily basis, yet we normally do our best to look away and simply ignore them like they are not our problem.
And you’re right, they are not your problem. But in accordance with the “Be a Good Earthling policy” we should really try to make it our problem, at least from time to time.
Who is a homeless person?
Some people tend to think it’s in our nature to be repulsed by the homeless people, but according to psychologists, that is something we are taught.
“Prejudice is a learned trait. You’re not born prejudiced; you’re taught it.”
-Charles R. Swindoll
Based on the latter, we’d like to use this post to kindly ask all parents, teachers, and everyone else who has the power to influence kids to do your best and teach them to treat homeless people as any other person out there. It’s up to us to set up the right example.
Sure there are some unpleasant things about homeless people, we’ll mention some of those later on, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best to help them.
So, who exactly is a homeless person? The word itself tells us that it’s a person without a home. And that’s exactly how we should see every homeless man, woman or child we run across. We don’t know their story, we don’t know how they got into that position, that’s why we really shouldn’t judge them.
“People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.”
Of course, you can find some rude, impolite, or even mean ones among them. But that’s totally normal, you can find that sort of people among doctors and lawyers too. All we are saying is that being a homeless person doesn’t make you worth any less.
Facts about homelessness
Let’s take a look at some facts about homelessness. It might help you realize how big of a problem it has become and make you realize that homeless people need us to do the best we can. And, that most of them haven’t brought this on themselves.
- There are over 600,000 homeless people in the US alone.
- Over 55,000 veterans are homeless each night.
- Over 30 % of the total homeless population is under 24 years old.
- Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women.
- One in five homeless people suffers from an untreated severe mental illness.
- Almost 2 million teens experience homelessness each year in the US alone.
- Of homeless youth that ran away, over 40 % have been abandoned by their parents for at least 24 hours and almost 45 % have been beaten by a caretaker.
- Around 40 % of homeless teens identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender).
- Family rejection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is the most frequent factor contributing to LGBT homelessness.
“I hate the word homophobia. It’s not a phobia. You are not scared. You are an asshole.”
- Around 30 % of homeless youth had been sexually abused.
- On average, governments in countries all around the world aren’t doing a lot to help homeless people.
- Homelessness is increasingly considered as a crime – begging in public, standing around or loitering anyplace, sleeping in public, sleeping in a car, …
- According to United Nations, there are over 100 million people homeless worldwide.
Helping a homeless person
There are other ways to help homeless people besides buying them food and we’ll probably address some of those in our future challenges.
We’d like to elaborate why buying food for a homeless person is a good way to help them:
- the majority of homeless people are malnourished;
- in most cases it is better than giving them money since many are “hooked” on alcohol and cigarettes and would spend that money on those instead of buying themselves food;
- it makes you see what kind of a person he/she is – some of the homeless people don’t really appreciate you giving them food since they want only money; we believe that a good person should appreciate every kind of help;
- buying something for a homeless person and then giving it to him/her is way more personal than giving them money.
Things you should consider when dealing with a homeless person
We really hope it will be something you’ll do gladly and hopefully, it will be satisfying for you to help a fellow human. To avoid turning this week’s challenge into an unpleasant experience for you and to prevent your negative reaction that might offend a homeless person, we decided to write down a few things you should prepare for. You probably know all that, but just in case.
- According to statistics, 20 % of the homeless people suffer from untreated severe mental illness. So you should be prepared for them to react awkwardly. Maybe they’ll even yell at you or start talking some funny stuff … If that happens don’t start a fight with him/her. Remember, that we’re trying to do a good thing here.
- Since a shower is normally located in a home, they usually don’t have access to one. So they might smell weird.
- Like we’ve mentioned above, some might not accept the food you’ll give them kindly. Again, if that happens just walk away.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Buy some kind of a food (possibly something healthier) for a homeless person and give it to him/her.
All you know about a homeless person is that he/she doesn’t have a home.
Teach kids to be kind and polite to homeless people.
There are over 100 million people homeless worldwide.
Prepare yourself to execute this challenge in the best possible way.
Have a fabulous week!