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"Homeless. Need help/work" - Page 4

post #61 of 74
Thread Starter 
As the OP, I wanted to thank those of you for validating my concerns with inspiring responses and creative ideas. I really like the instant-kit idea. The weather here is too hot to store kits in my car, but I can store them where I store my purse so that I remember to have one on hand when I run errands.

I'll have to remember cold water, too. I'm not a fan of the bottled water industry : but may have to make an exception for this.
post #62 of 74
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I've heard stories many times of people who can't negotiate social services because they don't have the right paperwork, or a ride, or a fridge to keep the food fresh.
Or as apparently just happened in this city, when the cities computers cause 75% of qualified applicants for food stamps to be rejected. (IBM has the contract to fix that and has until September to get the new system bug free.)
post #63 of 74
Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
As for people on assistance or who beg and cell phones -- sometimes they cannot get a landline anymore because they fell too far in arrears and they were cut off. Their file went to collections and they can only get a cell. Often times they have the cell for a short time because very quickly they fall behind in their payments and are cut off. Then they try the next carrier.
Or they're using those prepaid cellphones you can get for like $20 in the grocery store. In fact, if you know of someone who really needs help, getting them one of those phones, plus some minutes cards could be useful.

Unfortunately, I don't think calling cards work with cellphones and there just aren't that many phone booths around anymore.

Those in the know, would those combination toothbrush/toothpaste packs be good?
post #64 of 74
I give money when I have cash (a dollar, five, change) and pray for them. I also give to charities that help the homeless.
post #65 of 74
Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
ugh, it can be.

I worked at a local pretzel shop and we had to throw away dozens and dozens of pretzels at the end of the night and every hour on the hour so they were always fresh.

I used to put them in a box and take them to places where i knew homeless people hung out.. my boss "caught" me & told me it was against company policy because of a previous lawsuit. .
Contrariwise, I used to get bread about every other week for free because the food bank couldn't use all the bread that was brought from the local Panera each week. So my friend who volunteered to transport the bread from the store to the pantry would bring them to our club meeting instead after the pantry turned him away.
post #66 of 74
Speaking of bread. For all those who donate to food pantries around town, do it now, do it in March and don't forget them year round. i spent most of my Christmas eve driving around Los Angeles and making calls trying to find places to take the 40 plus loaves of bread I had in the back of my car, donated to the shelter I ran.

The holiday's are filled with those who want to be generous, it's the rest of the year that we need to remember to help.
post #67 of 74
post #68 of 74
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
The holiday's are filled with those who want to be generous, it's the rest of the year that we need to remember to help.
post #69 of 74
Yeah, I never ever give money either. With me, it's usually stuff like leftover food, resources on how to get into housing, employment, and most importantly, mental health care.

The last time we ran into a homeless person, we gave him some of the leftover gourmet pizza we were going to take home for lunch tomorrow. I think he was one of the real deals because he was skinny as a pencil and didn't look like he'd showered in two weeks.

I don't think I'll ever see someone enjoy pizza as much as he did
post #70 of 74
I walked past a man a few months ago...he was my age, just looked as sad as can be. We were in another town for a marathon my dad was running. I started to walk by and told my sister I just couldn't walk by. We didn't have cash on us, and I didn't have any snacks, but she had some fruit snacks, those gerber freeze dried fruit things, and some graham crackers. It was all we had on us, but I walked it back to the man and said "sorry, it's all I have." He gave me the biggest grin and was thrilled to have that. It stays on my mind.

Aren't we all just one wrong choice away from being homeless? Or just one thing of bad luck away from it? We are all very lucky to be where we are, and we're certainly in no situation to judge--those that made choices to get there, and those that fell upon hard times--they all need shelter, food, and love.
post #71 of 74
I don't give (at all) after reading multiple articles that they are just scammers. I don't remember the links I originally read (and I don't even know if we're allowed to link anymore, I don't post here a lot these days), but "walmart beggar scammers" on google comes up with a lot.
post #72 of 74
Used to live in downtown LA for college, and we were moving in, and I had bought all my supplies for the year, and this homeless guy walks by and looks at my laundry detergent, you know, huge, huge box, and says, "I could really use some of that laundry detergent." Probably couldn't afford it in the laundromat. I had a big ziploc so I gave him about 8 scoops and some quarters. He was so happy.

I don't live where homeless people are so obvious right now. I don't know how to do anything except bring food to the shelter, but our family is doing a food drive (family size) this month and we plan on bringing a box or 2 of extra food there just before school starts. I had read the summer months are the hardest for the food pantries.
post #73 of 74
I think my heart needed this thread.

I have been feeling tugs as I pass homeless persons lately. I am a couponer and have more toothpaste, deodorant, razors, etc than my family can use up by the time that I get more. I was thinking about putting together some kits with these items as well as a granola bar and an encouraging note to keep in my car to hand out. I do have my ds in the backseat most of the time when I drive, though, and I get scared.

My mom used to pick up hitchhikers when I was a kid, especially if they had a dog with them because she's a dog lover. In today's society a woman with 2 kids would be absolutely attacked for making the choice to pick a stranger up on the highway, but we lived in NM (hot!) and my mom has the biggest heart ever.

One thing to keep in mind, my friend said she had a talk with some homeless men who had to turn down the food she offered because their teeth were so bad they had trouble eating anything chewy/hard (like a granola bar).

My family is struggling in this economy, DH is an electrician so the housing and retail collapse have hit very hard, no one is building anything around here. The first 1/3 of the year we were living on meager unemployment, now he can pick up 10-20 hours of mowing and side electrical work but it's still not enough to keep the lights on. I understand how difficult social services can be to obtain (to get energy assistance you have to be there at 8am in person to make an appointment, then you have to have an hour later in the week to actually attend the appointment, which can be a great challenge to those of us who are working poor and cannot miss work. DH has pretty bad social anxiety problems so he can't go on our behalf) and I know times are hard, we go to the food pantry too. But I still have a roof over my head, I own a washer and dryer to keep my clothes clean, and when it rains my primary concern is remembering not to wear sandals so my feet don't get wet. My heart wants to give.
post #74 of 74
DH and I have bought people food before. There was a couple at a Sonic asking for help. DH bought them a meal. And recently when he was out with friends at Tech School there was a guy asking for food outside a Subway. DH invited him inside and bought him whatever he wanted.

I've also heard the stories of people using it for "free" money and not really being homeless or in need at all.

Growing up, my parents had their own janitorial service. My mom came upon a guy with a "Will work for food" sign or something and she handed him a business card. She told him that he could come and work that very night and get paid before he left (contract employee thing I think) He got kind of angry and she never heard from him.
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