Reaching Out...Changing Lives

How to Help a Homeless Person...

What do you do when you see someone holding up a sign, “Will Work for Food?” Do you roll down your window and give them money? Do you pretend you didn’t see them?

Nobody likes to be confronted by the homeless — their needs often seem too overwhelming — but we all want to treat them fairly and justly.

Here are some simple guidelines to equip you to truly help the homeless people you meet:

  • Never Give Cash to a Homeless Person

    Too often, well-intended gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol, even when the “hard luck” stories they tell are true. If the person is hungry, buy them a sandwich and a beverage.

  • Talk to the Person with Respect

    Taking time to talk to a homeless person in a friendly, respectful manner can give them a wonderful sense of civility and dignity. And besides being just neighborly, it gives the person a weapon to fight the isolation, depression and paranoia that many homeless people face.

  • Homeless People Are Not All the Same

    People who are homeless are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. The person you meet may be a battered woman, an addicted veteran, someone who is lacking job skills — the list goes on. No two are the same, and neither are their problems.

  • Share God’s Love Whenever You Can

    If Jesus were walking the earth today, He would certainly spend time with the homeless. He would speak with them, heal them, and help them. Today, Jesus chooses to work through those who believe and follow Him.

  • Pray for the Homeless

    Exposure to the elements, dirt, occasional violence, and lack of purpose all drain years from a person’s life. God can use your prayers and the brutality and the futility of life on the street to bring many of the broken to Himself.

  • Take Precautions for Your Own Safety

    Some living on the streets are criminals and fugitives running from the law. Always be prudent while talking with street people. Stay in areas where other people can see you. Don’t take unnecessary chances.

  • Encourage the Homeless to Get Help

    Refer them to the Rescue Mission of Utica. Here, a homeless person will be treated with respect and dignity. Their immediate needs of food, clothing and shelter will be met through our Emergency Shelter. Caring staff will help them improve their quality of life, become self-sufficient and get reestablished in the community.

  • Support the Rescue Mission of Utica

    The generous and faithful support of caring individuals, churches, businesses, and civic groups makes our ministry of reaching out and changing lives possible. Click here to donate, or click here to learn about volunteering and other ways to help.








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