The second part of the question is:
“Or at the very least help someone out of being homeless.”
1. Don’t judge them- be genuine in your search for the answer to what they need, and not in being their spiritual guide.
2. Pull out the Rolodex– Are they a good person? Who do you know? Can you make a phone call to get them an interview? I didn’t say, send their resume as if they would on a computer. Make some personal calls.
Maybe you warn the person that you “think” they’ll be good but that you’ve known them a short time and just feel compelled to help. No one is asking you to put your name on the line. Be honest and direct to all parties about your supportive expectations.
3. As I mentioned earlier, programs are available for four main issues. However, it is limited for someone who “just fell on hard times”. Getting a job is critical. And the issue with “any” job is being underemployed which will make you ineligible as well, for subsidized housing.
In another post, I’ll tell you the top ten questions you should ask when contacting an agency for yourself or a friend. It may take time to get them in a shelter even emergency shelters. Offer them a couch, and when there time is up, don’t disappear.
You do what you can do. But communicate, stay in relationship with the person once you’re involved. “You want to make sure where you leave them in life, you can live with at night.” That is my personal saying and philosophy.
4. Food: Make sure your friend is able to eat. If you can’t afford to give them money, call a few emergency shelters and find out when they feed the homeless and allow drop-ins. This means that they will feed all homeless and not just residents. Usually the emergency shelters will know what churches in the area are feeding the homeless and when.
5. Transportation: Can they get around? Just because they don’t ask for gas or tokens doesn’t mean they don’t need it! They have to get to showers, bathrooms, employment centers, job interviews, etc…
6. Love: show it not only in what you do but how you communicate. Be a friend. Don’t call out of duty, call to talk. Act like you would if they weren’t in this situation sometimes. Be the one to take their mind off of it. To stay sane they need breaks.
7. Don’t Quit: This may sound crazy but homelessness is the edge of a cliff if I ever seen one. You can’t ask them not to quit if you do. Being apart of the redemption of a life destined for greatness is extraordinary I’m sure.
Hang in there. You all may need to disengage. I have a few close friends that we don’t talk everyday, and some where we have to whether its via text, email, call, facebook but there’s a check-in. And when I told friends at one point that I was checking out, it seemed like they called me more, ignoring my feelings… Which was a good thing.
8. Letter of Recommendation, References, speak on their behalf: These are just ways to be supportive of friends trying to get a job. I have a friend who just got me involved with a major company as a spokesperson for their sexual predator software. How amazing is that? I’ll be doing videos on their behalf.
Its great publicity. It may not be money now, but please understand that my friends and their help has kept me alive. Another friend helped a radio host find me, after we lost contact. I ended up on his show serving three million listeners. You never know what the persons tipping point will be but cheer them on and don’t let them stop.
9.Invest- If you have the money to put them in an apt and give them two years to pay it back like a traditional investment, do it! Help them get a job, or give them time to after they’re stable. A lot more can be done when one is stable, not in a position of crisis or survival, and is proactive. Like any investment their is risk, so I only encourage this for someone that you already believe in, and trust.
Someone that you either don’t mind losing money in the process of helping, God told you to give to them, or the friendship won’t be hindered if they pay you back 2 years later than expected. Of course, you don’t know this in the beginning, but I speak about your posture.
10. Events- Become their Manager if they are an artist, performer, etc… Ask them if you all can make a deal. You book them for PAID events and you get 15 percent. There’s a lot of dynamics here that I won’t cover, but this is an idea of how you can support them if they have any kind of legitimate business, or product. This doesn’t have to be full-time. This is just referral based marketing.
Aside from events, there are other opportunities that you can look out for that will make them money. If they can paint well, and your grandmother wants the living room painted, call your friend and cancel the other guy, for example.
Note: I’m covering some general things here. If you suspect that your friend has a drug, alcohol, or mental issue, I would have a totally different Ten Ways to help them end homelessness. FYI– there are programs available for the above populations. Unless they are serial homeless because of current issues with drug, alcohol or undiagnosed mental issues.
- Suggestions for how to end homelessness, part two (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Homeless in Hurricane Irene (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Homeless in the Hurricane (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Spending the Night with Tyler Perry and the Lifestyle of Homelessness with Ressurrection Graves (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- How to end Homelessness (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Shelter to Shelter: Serial Homelessness (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- LONGSUFFERING: The Face and Lifestyle of Homelessness (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Report: Foreclosures increase homeless children in Utah ()