Protecting the homeless is crucial, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the numbers consistently rising for homelessness in the United States, it is essential now more than ever to give back whenever you can. Depending on where the homeless live, during the cold winter months, they may need articles of clothing to keep them warm, or even just their own personal protective equipment kits to keep them safe from contracting the deadly virus.
With the homeless coming in contact with even more harmful bacteria and viruses than the average, middle class working person, they are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. They also don’t have the proper medical care, or even money to go to the hospital and be cared for, so it is important to do you part to help keep them safe. If you’re unsure exactly how to help the homeless during this time, we got you covered with some of the best possible ways to do your part!
Why are the Homeless Homeless?
What are the common reasons that make the homeless homeless?
This is a difficult question to answer because the easy thing that people want to jump on and say is that they need to get a job. This can be difficult because without the access to a roof over their head, clean and safe drinking water, the ability to take care of themselves, and so much more, it can be difficult for the homeless to get up and just go get a job to alter their lives.
There are four causes that can make someone homeless. These four causes include the lack of affordable housing, unemployment, being stuck in the poverty hole, and they could potentially suffer from mental illnesses and the lack of treatment that is available to them in order to help them. Another big cause of homelessness can also be substance abuse and the lack of treatment that they can have readily available to them. Veterans are said to make up a majority of the homeless in the United States today, but many other men, women, children, and even domestic violence survivors are said to be listed under the homeless demographics.
It’s very saddening to see the homeless lining the streets of many of our many well-populated cities and states, such as New York, Los Angeles, and many other major cities. We know that giving back to them and making sure that they are fed, in an emergency shelter where they can have a roof over their head, and ways to keep themself safe is important, so consider helping them out during the COVID-19 crisis.
Ways to Support the Homeless During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Get Go ranks the top ways to give back to the homeless during these unprecedented times
It can be very concerning for the homeless during this time with their health and safety at risk with being outdoors on dirty streets, or in other places that aren’t cleanly. Although the homeless don’t have much choice where they can reside and take shelter, it is important that they keep themselves safe with their own personal protective equipment, warm clothing, and so much more.
Giving back to the homeless is essential. With COVID-19 taking a toll on many Americans and affecting the lives of other people globally, it is important to keep yourself safe from contracting the virus, but to also keep the people around you safe as well. The homeless at this point are struggling to be able to take care of themselves the way that they should, so make sure to take care of them as well during these troubling times with these top easy ways to ensure their safety.
1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
It is important for every person to be protected from contracting COVID-19, so it is essential for everyone to have their own personal protective equipment kit, or PPE kit. A PPE kit is full of items that are used to help protect you from certain viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and other harmful things to keep you covered and protected.
During this time, everyone needs to have their own PPE kit readily available to them. For the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to have a face mask to protect yourself from tiny droplets that can be spread to another person through sneezing, coughing, or even talking. Some other items that are necessary for a PPE kit during the pandemic can and should be latex gloves, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and even safety goggles to protect your eyes as well.
2. Warm Clothing
Depending on what time of the year it is and where the homeless can be located, certain states face harsher weather during the long winter months. States in America that are more north or even to the west can experience colder temperatures, more snow, blizzards, and much more, which can put someone who is homeless at risk of hyperthermia.
If you want to give back during the holiday season, or even just during those long and dreaded winter months, consider donating, or even giving the homeless some heavy winter clothing to keep them comfortable and warm during winter. These clothing items can consist of a heavy jacket, gloves, a scarf, warm boots, long shirts, and so much more. Many homeless shelters organize clothing drives to encourage people to donate their old and used clothing, so consider donating and keeping the homeless warm during the winter.
3. Feed the Homeless
It is very sad, yet common for the homeless to starve from lack of food, or money to be able to buy food to keep themselves healthy. Today, there are more than 200 food banks for you to donate to to help the homeless and even just people or families that struggle to pay for food and it is essential to give back especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many people associate hunger and homlessness together, but it can actually affect many people who have a roof over their head. According to Feeding America, about 57 percent of Americans have to choose between paying for food or their housing, which many favor paying for food over housing. If you want to help feed the homeless and over families that are struggling to afford to eat, consider donating to a local food bank through Feeding America today!
4. Give Money to the Homeless
The stigma around giving money to the homeless is always that they are going to use it for something other than food or a necessity, but in all reality, if you feel comfortable doing it and safe while you’re at it, then there’s nothing wrong with it. It can be seen as a nice gesture to someone who is struggling with being homeless and that they don’t have the money to support themselves.
In a study in the San Francisco’s Union Square district, 94 percent of the money that was given to the homeless was actually used to purchase food. The study also showed that they only make up to $25 a day or even less. If you don’t feel as comfortable walking up and giving a homeless person money to protect yourself from COVID-19, or just don’t feel safe, you can always donate to your local homeless shelter, food banks, clothing drives, and more to show your support for the homeless during this time.
5. Show the Homeless Some Respect
The homeless often have a stigma against them that they’re lazy because they won’t get a job to support themselves and they are often disrespected because of it. If you see a homeless person on the street, be nice and say hi to them. If you see them sitting on a park bench, sit down next to them, or if you don’t feel as comfortable, stand six feet away from them and ask about their day and hold a conversation with them.
Many people that are homeless tend to feel that their dignity is gone because of the situation that they are in. Just showing some kind of respect for the homeless is one way to help them and show that you care about them and their well being. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to still show them the same respect if the pandemic wasn’t going on, but it is recommended to do it at a safe distance to protect yourself and them as well.
Why is it Important to Support the Homeless?
The COVID-19 pandemic has made life for the homeless more challenging, so show your support today!
COVID-19 has affected the lives of many since March. Not only has it affected people who just graduated college and are struggling to get jobs, essential workers with an increasing amount of stress, families who are struggling to support themselves, but it also affects the homeless as well.
The homeless don’t have the essential PPE items they need to help prevent them from contracting COVID-19, and they also are hungry and lacking the necessities that they need for everyday life. With your help during the pandemic, you can make it possible to improve the lives of homeless one step at a time by showing them your support by donating to help them live a better life and prevent contracting the deadly virus.