In addition to finding ways to build relationships with the poor, we are building relationships with the homeless and finding small ways in which we can help them.
We have over ten thousand homeless people in our city. We want to help, not make it attractive to live on the street, if sleeping on a cold sidewalk in a rainstorm might be considered attractive.
San Diego has agencies that work on permanent solutions for getting the homeless off the street. However, for every ten that get off the street at least ten take their place. Some never get off the street. We know some who have been living on the street for over twenty years.
My wife and I do not have the skills or resources to get people off the street. We try to help those who are waiting their turn to get into one of the shelters or programs that provide housing and services, and some who cannot get into shelters or programs because they are unable or unwilling to follow the rules (which usually have to do with drug and alcohol usage and behavior).
There is no template, one-size-fits-all plan that works for what we think of as “giving a cup of cold water” to our friends on the street. If we lived in Chicago or New York City, we would need to adjust some of what we do, especially in the winter.
10 Ideas for How to Help the Homeless
- We go to where the homeless live on the streets. (We do not go to the homeless scattered in the canyons and backcountry.) We park our car, get out, walk the streets and meet them.
- We greet them and tell them that we have water and whatever else we have with us that day, and ask if they need some of those things. We usually keep our supplies in a garden wagon that we pull behind us.
- We ask their names, shake their hands when possible and hug them when they want hugged.
- We talk to those who want to talk to us. We meet brilliant, unemployed people who have PHDs, people who are mentally ill and make no sense, and lots of people somewhere between those extremes.
- We ask them what they need that they have difficulty finding. Tarps are the number one request in winter. New, clean underwear is also high on the list. Those who sleep in a shelter at night have fewer needs. Those who sleep outdoors have a greater need for warm clothing, sleeping bags, blankets and that sort of thing when the weather is cold.
- Since we buy almost everything we give away, we try to find sources for decent quality products at a good price. For example, we have sources for inexpensive, bulk supplies of soap, shampoo, lotion, razors. toothbrushes, toothpaste, Q-tips and so on. (Hotel supply companies and dollar stores)
- We work with a local food distribution group to acquire inexpensive supplies of fruit, crackers, cookies and similar products that are packed in small packages.
- We have an inexpensive source for 6 X 8 tarps with corner grommets for wet weather use (Harbor Freight – $1.99).
- We scour garage sales, thrift shops, and swap meets to find used clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags and similar items that are in good condition. We do not give away new clothing, except socks and underwear. (I’ll explain why in the “Do’s and Don’ts” in the following post). We wash the clothing, fold and label it with the size on a strip of masking tape and put a stack on our wagon.
- Our friend David, who goes with us each time, always brings a couple of dozen packages of baby wipes (great for cleaning dirty hands), and a few other people give us used clothing. Two other friends give us bags of new socks and occasionally tarps.
Water, food, toiletries, clothes, and similar items are temporary help at best. Some people assume that hundreds of churches and individuals hand out these sorts of things to the homeless. That doesn’t happen. Christmas may be big, but the rest of the year is hit and miss.
We frequently hear comments such as “That’s the first water I’ve had since yesterday,” “I’m wearing the only pair of pants I’ve had for six months and they’re full of holes,” “I haven’t had any clean underwear for months,” “We’ve been under the bridge at night with the addicts and are afraid to go to sleep. With these tarps we can get away from them and sleep at night.”
From time to time we see efforts by Christians and churches to “evangelize” the homeless and tell them about Jesus. We assume something of the message must get through, but have observed that is not always the case.
Do we tell people about Jesus? We’ll talk about that in a future post.
Until then, have you discovered ways to help your homeless friends? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.
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Thank you for this post, I have something to share with you and I need help 🙂
One week ago, I’ve meet a homeless
he sleeps on the street, I woke him up, and told him that I’ll buy food, he told me that he also wants cigarettes
So I bought cigarettes, sandwich and a soft drink
I gave him all these, and tried to talk with him; I asked if he is cold to bring him a cover, he said “No”, he took cigarettes and said he dont need food, he wants only to smoke and drink alcohol, after a minute I left and I heard him talking to the grocer and he told him to take food and to give him cigarettes and lighter in exchange !
It hurts me, cause if all homelesses are like him, I dont know how can I help them !!!
Any advices or suggestions ?
Ooops, I mean Hi Jeremy 😉
I don’t understand why people people won’t give them money…. Maybe he needs the beer so he won’t be in pain and smokes help with stress.
Believ god isn’t helping you. He always answers prayers of salvation as in Romans chapter ten verse thirteen in the Bible, It says For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The Bible is God’s word, everything even words not written by the gospel authors telling the story of Jesus is part of God’s word to us, so believe it. So be good and holy, stay away from repeating sin, pray for God to forgive you, and pray for your salvation, and believ God will answer you, as he will and believe he has as he did and try to improve your life, as all options are God trying to help you by giving you good opportunities and ways to be good so take him and your life will improve.
I’m not really sure why you felt the need to say all the things you said. Seems to me you are just rambling. There were no real ideas to help homeless people. Just ways for homeless people to scam other people into getting what they want or need. That’s not the way to help a homeless person. Then they will never get out of their situation. Please don’t ramble about something you don’t understand. I’ve been homeless and hopeless for a few years. And I didn’t get off the street by scamming people. I got off the street for accepting help and setting aside my pride and taking the resources I could get until I got a job. Then worked hard enough to save money to get off the street. Homeless people need long term plans. I couldn’t even get through all you wrote.
U could asK the homeless exactly what they need/want. U may not want to hear that they want cigarettes & Alcohol. My homeless brother showed up desperately sick At r home & thank God my husband knew he needed a drink because his brother died an alcoholic. I dont know if i could have handled the situation but i did learn a valuable lesson. Blood sugar is so bad n ppl who drink when they dont/cant drink their blood sugar becomes dangerously low & they can die. Carry soft candy like licorice to suck on, even hard candy. Any candy they dont have to chew. Bananas, anything to raise the blood sugar fast. Be kind & loving & never preach. Ask their name, age & if u can meet them the next day with a meal. I use to run a homeless shelter for 6 yrs & loved & cooked 4 every1 of them. I miss them so much & pray that God has hes hands around them to keep them safe. Give bottled water. Ive boughten prescrips for them to pick up, never touch their meds. Offer to wash their clothes & buy them a bag of socks & underware to bring w/that meal u promise to meet with them & follow thru. Ive washed many homeless clothes, they luv it. So ask what u can do 4 them that doesnt include money. My brother is still homeless & i pray 1 person has been kind 2 him.
Pray for gods will and read on to find good comments on
How to survive. Ok so what’s I’m about to say contains tips for the homeless and for those trying to help so u can ask for this stuff and give it you know and u might ask for somehtjng form someone who read this chat. Let’s all try to save these peoples lives and get them in their feet. Btw this chat might repeat itself if so skip lower down. Sorry for the length it’s full of tips I’ve gathered from other people and sites and comments on other sites and this so if some of the typing doesn’t help you skip down for more tips past that part. Also give Non money gifts and ask for them. Also homeless can dress nice and walk on street and to ask for help like using someone’s phone to look up help,call accuantance or get Uber or lyft and then u pay or they pay Go to library to use library comput
Tell them about help from religious or charity groups or locally travelling shelters. Also, tell them to call for rides to these so no accidents form walking near cars, like call aqquantences kr family (tell them to call them for help no matter where or who they are, even if you have a bad relationship with your aqquanyances or friends so they help) maybe 911 or loft or things though 911 calls not for emergencies might be illegal. Also tell them about jobs from companies that give to anyone or jobs that anyone can fill. Tell them about kind hearted companies and tell them about companies that have helped before anywheee , even if they’d re not charities to see if hey will help anywhere. Look this up if these exist near you and can be used before u drive so no accidents. Tell them this give them non money gifts like essentials and food. If u are homeless ask for this stuff. Try using government programs or local religious aid and charities to get necessary supplies and money, and also go to local traveling shelters that travel locally to different housing places so you will always be supplied for. Also ask for shelter in companies and stuff and share mistreatments if they do or refuse so other companies especially will help you to get press or praise over the otter co that refused you. Also say that it will give good press if you help me if your wrokers do even if it’s not still st or having to do with the store when you ask. Take advantage of other périple like this maybe say get your crush to notice or Learn of this and they’ll like you stuff like this. Or that you can get friends by sharing what you did or their god will reward or what will happen Also ask for shelter in companies and stuff and share mistreatments if they do or refuse so other companies especially will help you to get press or praise over the otter co that refused you. Also say that it will give good press if you help me if your wrokers do even if it’s not still st or having to do with the store when you ask. Take advantage of other peopl like this maybe say get your crush to notice or Hearn of this and they’ll like you stuff like this. Or that you can get friends by sharing what you did or their god will reward or what will happen they will get citizenship awards like the good citizenship award or the American citizenship award if they share deeds ir find ways to have others find out or say you’ll show or whatever and look up if they report you for not sharing so you can say that’s was another guy if u try the same trick and people don’t help and also don’t let the money take pics tell them I don’t want my image seen but that’s can help them describe you on the net for peopl to not help so maybe don’t be that descriptive. Am praying for you.u. To the homeless: believ the Catholic kne true god or any God is helping you, because they all look out for you so henceforth will agree to this probably the Bible isreferencing them too. He always answers prayers of salvation as in Romans chapter ten verse thirteen in the Bible, It says For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The Bible is God’s word, everything even words not written by the gospel authors telling the story of Jesus is part of God’s word to us, so believe it. So be good and holy, stay away from repeating sin, pray for God to forgive you, and pray for your salvation, and believ God will answer you, as he will and believe he has as he did and try to improve your life, as all options are God trying to help you by giving you good opportunities and ways to be good so take him and your life will improve. Also get jobs at places that require no skill or places that will be nice so just try asking around but first at places u know will hire not to tarnish reputation and make people know you asked everyone and not want but maybe this can get you sympathy and someone will hire tell them this to get ahead of other businesses and they have good press. Tell them their god will like this or other people will like crushes but don’t offend them or make it oook like you are trying to bribe that may not end well. The best thing to tel them is next: this might also have bad effects like the bribe they hing, but it might work: Tell them their is good citizenship awards given by the daughters of the American revolution, the national association of secondary school principals, and the EPA and the center of digital government if your companies deeds get out there. There is also company awards like in Canada the Canadian business and partnership awards if the imagine Canada charity, and others like this tell them this too. Invest into constant getters ask people well walking for help. Make yourself look nice and get like fast food jobs. Get people to give you Uber rides or lyft rides have people order these it if their kindness ask or maybe say I’ll pay you might not be best to lie as people will get word around abot scam so get money maybe take local job and use Uber’s or lifts to get far away jobs by having someone schedule multiple rides if possible to get you to farther away job. People have done uber to get across country even if the video seems fake because of the scale it is possible and it is true so u can bring money after first scheduling and then give it to driver and tell him next location. Use library computers and stuff to look up jobs and get addresses and write them in paper and maybe ask workers for something to write on. Here’s other tips they are for the homeless do for helpers so ask for the stuff it says to give and so on and use what is told to be told to the homeless if you are homeless: give Non money gifts or ask for them. Also homeless can dress nice and walk on street and to ask for help like using someone’s phone to look up help,call accuantance or get Uber or lyft and then u pay or they pay Go to library to use library comput
Tell them about help from religious or charity groups or locally travelling shelters. Also, tell them to call for rides to these so no accidents form walking near cars, like call aqquantences kr family (tell them to call them for help no matter where or who they are, even if you have a bad relationship with your aqquanyances or friends so they help) maybe 911 or loft or things though 911 calls not for emergencies might be illegal. Also tell them about jobs from companies that give to anyone or jobs that anyone can fill. Tell them about kind hearted companies and tell them about companies that have helped before anywheee , even if they’d re not charities to see if hey will help anywhere. Look this up if these exist near you and can be used before u drive so no accidents. Tell them this give them non money gifts like essentials and food. If u are homeless ask for this stuff. Try using government programs or local religious aid and charities to get necessary supplies and money, and also go to local traveling shelters that travel locally to different housing places so you will always be supplied for. Also ask for shelter in companies and stuff and share mistreatments if they do or refuse so other companies especially will help you to get press or praise over the otter co that refused you. Also say that it will give good press f you help me if your wrokers do even if it’s not still st or having to do with the store when you ask. Take advantage of other people like this maybe say get your crush to notice or Learn of this and they’ll like you stuff like this. Or that you can get friends by sharing what you did or their god will reward or what will happen Also ask for shelter in companies and stuff and share mistreatments if they do or refuse so other companies especially will help you to get press or praise over the otter co that refused you. Also say that it will give good press if you help me if your wrokers do even if it’s not still st or having to do with the store when you ask. Take advantage of other peopl like this maybe say get your crush to notice or Hearn of this and they’ll like you stuff like this. Or that you can get friends by sharing what you did or their god will reward or what will happen they will get citizenship awards like the good citizenship award or the American citizenship award if they share deeds ir find ways to have others find out or say you’ll show or whatever and look up if they report you for not sharing so you can say that’s was another guy if u try the same trick and people don’t help and also don’t let the money take pics tell them I don’t want my image seen but that’s can help them describe you on the net for peopl to not help so maybe don’t be that descriptive. Am praying for you.
Can u use a fake or do they verify. If so use a friends or family’s. If u don’t think they’ll be one hundred percent supportive or to be safe if not like parents or siblings then call first maybe use public phone it costs money or ask to call on someone’s phone we’ll walkkng kn street maybe ask to use address. Internet probably has propel who’d do this ask to shelter with people at charities.
Go into buildings for phones and warmth pretend ur shopping make yourself look good so as they won’t kick you or or not help you. Read the comment down below for more. Share mistreatment on go fund me or more for help for you and on signs and look up signs to use
And use library computers
We never take money with us when we visit the homeless. We always take water and sandwiches and whatever else we might have (maybe socks, tarps when it’s rainy and so on). Although some people feel otherwise, we never provide cigarettes, alcohol or other things that fuel their addictions. We also limit sweets.
Even though some people don’t want to talk, many do. We wear jeans and t shirts, walk among our homeless friends and spend time sitting and talking with some. We treat them just like we do our next door neighbors. On a typical Sunday we spend three hours plus with our homeless friends.
Learn their names. Ask how they’re doing. Try to figure out what they really need if you want to share with them. Bottled water and clean underwear are usually at the top of the list, and warm clothes in the winter.
Thank you for caring for the homeless, Asma. If you have more questions, e-mail Jeremy and he will give you my e-mail address.
Thank you Sam ^_^
I’ve just sent an email on facebook to Jeremy, I go to send you a message when I’ll receive your email address
I would love to help. My name is Tamika I have questions…
Sam Riviera says
Tamika, You may ask your questions here, or if you give permission, Jeremy will give me your e-mail address and we can communicate by e-mail.
I need help, I want to help this guy who is homeless, I do not think he is an addict. I gave him a bible and he hugged it and was very happy but i want to help him out of his struggle , a job or something. where can I start better yet how can I start?
Jim Downey says
Happy to read you have a heart for God and his children. We help others by our love given ,our unconditional love. by listening to them, encouraging them , helping them with some basics needs ,use your discernment on this, have a list ready of addresses ,phone numbers of places that have resources available for them, ie; shelter,food,clothing and all the rest.
One of the most powerful things we can give another is our time and love and share with them the word of God, always when able.
PS.. Lots of Prayers
My answer to this massive homeless issue is walk your talk and put them up in churches, and their parking lots that sit empty all week. Stop expecting taxpayers dollars to fund expensive buildings and plans that provides better housing then the working taxpayers. Teach them routines, schedules, hygiene, self efficiency. I get fined for not paying a toll or city parking spot but these people camp out for years in the same spots and it’s frustrating seeing the same people with signs begging. I grew up in a city and I had never seen a homeless or hobo as I have the past 15 years. This has to change by allowing our police and fire to enforce the laws of loitering, begging. Instead of putting up signs on churches that black lives matter how about an initiative that homeless lives matter. Churches need to unite. It’s your neighborhood!
Tyrone Perera says
don’t be upset, actually their mentally homeless. they are addicted to cigarette and alcohol. they like that life style and the freedom they have. don’t fell bad, you did what you have or like to do, just fell good about what you did.
You did the right thing. It is not up to us make sure they eat the food or not smoke and drink. You were kind in offering a helping hand. Sadly some people will not take the generosity for what its worth, but as long as you do what is kind then you have done what is required. Always help and encourage with no judgement.
The city of SF could start by banning homelessness in their city, If a homeless person has a job then yes they should set up mini hubs to have those people a place to stay until they get on their feet, also if a person has skills to get a job find him/her one. But the homelessness like your talking about should be rounded up and taken to a rehabilitation station, Like skaggs Island where a main station could be set up to process them in get them off of drugs alcohol or if their mentally impaired, house them there, feed them and retrain them to enter society. A homelessness base equipped with medical and dental volunteers or students, as they get trained in jobs that the city needs and they want to rejoin society transfer them to a hub near where they can be employed. It may cost a lot but in the long run it would be worth it. Eventually other cities would do the same and some of those people will be crying about it, but people need to understand its for the best of everyone.
Tell them this: Use Shelters, religious or other, and get clothes from charities ask people for directions or rides or phone calls to them by asking to use their phones. Also, find heat sources and use blankets u get from charities or any other covers and secure hem around the vent or whatever or just lay on the heat source with a blanket to contain the heat. Tel them about food banks and calling for help . Ask them what they need ( if money ur call on whether to give it. Give non money gifts. Tell them to call acquaintances or anyone for help maybe companies or nine one one the last one may be illegal for non emergency. Let them use your phone and give them rides. Tell them to invest safely so they don’t risk necessary cash (tell them to keep a stockpile for their life and invest extra money or at least keep enough to live on) or lose money. Tell them to only invest in constant getters and too buy maybe not full shares if they can’t so they get money. Don’t tell them to gamble or to get too addicted to investing.
Tell them to share experiences or any mistreatment while begging to get sympathy. Start go fund me for them let them use your tools to start it. Tell them about god and share their faith. Pray. Believ god will help them
give Non money gifts and ask for them. Also homeless can dress nice sorry if saying dress nice is cruel I’m trying to help and walk on street and to ask for help like using someone’s phone to look up help,call accuantance even ones you dknt like or help numbers like aid programs that will come to you. Only call 911 for emergencies they will send ambulance don’t say so if you cannot on the call as they send ambulance if you say you are in an emergency give a street location so know your streets. If you call 911 to get rides or stuff you could get in troubke but it might turn out to be a nice cop who helps you ont heir own time or on their job time. However if this fails and word gets out, people might not want to help you and might look at all homeless with less value and help them less. Always don’t offend or weird people as to make this happen but offending or weirding mightn’t have little affect because of the nature of the situation sorry if this is cruel I’m trying to help. or get Uber or lyft andtell then I can get award but I know you are A kind person but that might offend them if they are not nice or weird them out thinking you are like a person judger or crazy so be wise with words. Tell them their god will like it if they have one and that their crutch will and friends will and hey can get prizes if they let some prize places or organizations like daughters of the American revolution or their principals in school know as the national association of secondary school principals gives award or from their local gov or us or state government or county government the center for digital government gives out awards to citizens and also the EPA which is United States government does. These ones are true. But if some of what you say ends up not being true then you might get in trouble they might spread news not to help you but then just say do u think I’m this guys that’s another guy. Read more in this below. in the world and their own higher ups in their jobs like bosses then u pay or they pay Go to library to use library comput
Tell them about help from religious or charity groups or locally travelling shelters. Also, tell them to call for rides to these so no accidents form walking near cars, like call aqquantences kr family (tell them to call them for help no matter where or who they are, even if you have a bad relationship with your aqquanyances or friends so they help) maybe 911 or loft or things though 911 calls not for emergencies might be illegal. Also tell them about jobs from companies that give to anyone or jobs that anyone can fill. Tell them about kind hearted companies and tell them about companies that have helped before anywheee , even if they’d re not charities to see if hey will help anywhere. Look this up if these exist near you and can be used before u drive so no accidents. Tell them this give them non money gifts like essentials and food. If u are homeless ask for this stuff. Try using government programs or local religious aid and charities to get necessary supplies and money, and also go to local traveling shelters that travel locally to different housing places so you will always be supplied for. Also ask for shelter in companies and stuff and share mistreatments if they do or refuse so other companies especially will help you to get press or praise over the otter co that refused you. Also say that it will give good press f you help me if your wrokers do even if it’s not still st or having to do with the store when you ask. Take advantage of other périple like this maybe say get your crush to notice or Hearn of this and they’ll like you stuff like this. Or that you can get friends by sharing what you did or their god will reward or what will happen Also ask for shelter in companies and stuff and share mistreatments if they do or refuse so other companies especially will help you to get press or praise over the otter co that refused you. Also say that it will give good press if you help me if your wrokers do even if it’s not still st or having to do with the store when you ask. Take advantage of other peopl like this maybe say get your crush to notice or Hearn of this and they’ll like you stuff like this. Or that you can get friends by sharing what you did or their god will reward or what will happen they will get citizenship awards like the good citizenship award or the American citizenship award if they share deeds ir find ways to have others find out or say you’ll show or whatever and look up if they report you for not sharing so you can say that’s was another guy if u try the same trick and people don’t help and also don’t let the money take pics tell them I don’t want my image seen but that’s can help them describe you on the net for peopl to not help so maybe don’t be that descriptive. Am praying for you.
Alcoholism is a disease. Alcohol withdrawal could end in death. Cigarettes are addictive too. Maybe it’s not the way you wanted to help. But that’s what he said he needed. You don’t have to provide anything but you did. He didn’t have the best manners- but I’m sure he was thankful. Maybe he has mental illness too. Social skills as a homeless person is not really a requirement.
i dont know where your going with the Christians try to spread the gospel but we try live in likeness of Jesus and it is apart of being a christian is spreading the gospel regardless of what if it gets through or not i like your post but dont like how you direct it towards Christians like that as if we dont care for them or something? i dont really get where your going with that and why you had to bring that up! AS a Christian i want to help the homeless and tell them the real meaning in GOD and that he is there for them and to not feel alone if you cant understand that then i need to show you JESUS or something
You’re reading something into those two sentences that is not there. The next paragraph says that there will be another post that discusses telling people about Jesus. You can read that post at https://redeeminggod.com/just-love-homeless-people/
The street preaching/evangelism that we see that is directed at the homeless may be well intended, but we have yet to see that it is effective. Surely it sometimes must be, but we haven’t seen it and the homeless we know do not respond positively to it.
This isn’t a theological discussion. It’s all about getting to personally know the homeless, making friends with them, spending time with them and getting to know and love them. When we do that, we have many opportunities to share Jesus with them.
This same principle works with almost anyone. It’s not a matter of having to prove to anyone else that we care about someone, love them and share Jesus with them, just like we don’t need to prove that we love our wife or our child. They know, and they are the ones to tell those stories.
Okay i understand now nd it makes since
Jeremy Myers says
Thanks for the clarification on this post, Sam.
But you are good people and i hope god blesses you and i am thankful for your post and for you to share how to help them!:)
Hi to all who care for the homeless. I have a vision to provide home owership to the poor by raising massive wealth. If these people see the power of God then they may listen. I would like you to read my web site then get back to me. In Jesus name Geoffrey and Paula Wheeler.
God has woken me in a dream to feed the hungry.I live in Bluff, Durban,South Africa,and my name is Lorraine. We are currently building a 750sq m building. We will feed,clothe,cut their hair,a salon to make them feel good and showers for bathing themselves. My dream is to house them as well to take them of the streets. Please help me find descent homes.
Sam Riviera says
Lorraine, may you succeed. If you are trying to contact Geoffrey, click on his name in his comment. That will take you to his website. You can contact him through his website.
Althea West says
currently I live with a man who I met in a place in Berkeley, CA where he was seeking help. It’s a long story, but he is a mentally ill man who I brought back with me to Denver, CO and got him into the veteran’s domiciliary here and eventually Denver Housing Authority gave us a voucher for a place to live in the veteran’s apartments. I needed a place myself but I also knew he could not live by himself. He has been chronically homeless for about 40 years. I started out by bringing him socks and warm clothes and by befriending him. He was off his meds when i met him and had pretty much alienated everyone – but he asked me for help so I knew that he was worth helping. That’s a big requirement to invest in someone – if they are surrendered enough to swallow their pride and ask for help… they might be ready to make some changes. He has now been living inside for over a year. Next I started to feed him home cooked meals. I was renting a room in a house of people who were not very friendly toward him. I would let him come in and take showers when no one was around. Next I let him sleep in my car – I parked my car near where the truckers parked and he was able to sleep there without the cops bothering him. A few months later we took his SSD check and drove back to Denver where I had lived for 8 years. I had been having troubles of my own and had been couch surfing since the 08 crash – but was still not quite on the street – helping him helped me too – I was able to get a job once he was in the domiciliary in Lakewood, CO and now I have a much better job. I am teaching him how to cook. We are friends and we do almost everything together. I try to feed him really good quality food from scratch too. He is getting more and more socialized. We do laugh therapy alot – I try to get him to laugh alot. He has an $800 a month check – that’s it! He smokes a lot of tobacco – he has had a very hard life – his father was an organized crime boss, of sorts. There is alcoholism, of course. He had an accident at age 20 that rendered him mentally ill. He had been a National Merit Semi-finalist in High School with a request from Princeton to their PhD program – not a scholarship though so his parents refused to pay – it’s a long sad story of nothing going right for him. I hope I can make sure he is inside from now on. He’s 63.
Sam Riviera says
Althea, It sounds as if you are really invested into helping this man and showing him the love of Jesus in practical ways. We believe that Jesus works through ordinary people like you and us to help those who need help. May God bless you as you continue to show his love to others.
Rana Nuesca says
I am so touched by this. Your strength and courage is so what is needed in this world today. This site sure has shared God in a Beautiful Awesome way!!! My grand child is 9 years old and she possesses that heart of kindness towards those who are lost and need our help. She and I are working on a project together. This is so humbling to find a site with great love and great purpose. Thank you for being great leaders.
I have a friend that couch surfs. Its been an adventure for her and I am truly reminded by her to remember the real world. I remind myself “yes” A Spirit Experiencing A Human Life. . .
MikenJenn Cratch says
Pre purchase subway gift cards decent meal and doubtful it ends up booze
Thanks for this blog and the forum for comments it generated, Jeremy. I live
in San Francisco and occasionally work with a Christian group called City Impact,
which does outreach to residents in the impoverished Tenderloin district.
CI tries to reach the homeless there, too, so I am printing out the suggestions
and comments above to pass on to a staff member for consideration.
Sam Riviera says
These are a few ideas that we have used in getting to know the homeless. The needs of the homeless population vary from place to place and time to time. In our city, food and clothing have been in abundant supply the past few years, but housing, jobs and escaping drug addiction have been much more difficult to accomplish.
I work 2nd shift and go into a local all night store on occasions after work. I saw an older black man sitting on the bench inside the store. I then remembered I think I’ve seen him there before possibly late at night. He had worn clothes and a back pack. When I came out to put my cart not far from where he was sitting I glanced his way and gave him a slight smile. He smiled back. I drove home thinking about how terrible it must be to be like this and so thankful I have a job even though its not one I care for. I remembered hearing from a tv report, that homelessness can be a paycheck away from a college man who ended up homeless.
When I came home I forgot something and had to go back into town. There was the man was still on the bench and by then he was trying to sleep sitting up. I can’t get him off my mind. I’m surprised the store lets him do that, but it is late at night when I see him and its not busy. I hope to see him again soon as its starting to get cold here in Ohio and my heart tells me to do something for this man but not sure where to start. I suppose I do need to stop next time, introduce myself and ask to sit down and see how he acts. Then take it from there. But cold weather is coming and not sure what to do for him and he is older, I’m thinking maybe 65+ by looking at him.
I did come home and right away look for shelters in my town, but I didn’t see any. All the ones I found were 30 miles away. I’m not sure where to start. Any advice of what to do beside showing kindness? Its suppose to get down in the 30’s the next few nights and my heart is very sad for him.
Rose Wolfe says
Carol, what ever happened with this homeless man?
I know this was a while back, but maybe start by buying a good jacket.. doesnt have to be new, just something that can keep him warm.. and maybe get him some warm food or soup and water… then take it further from there…
Hi the first thing to ask is if he’s a veteran.
I have been able to write to companies and ask for items and have always had good luck …one exception..LLBean refused
Lydia St. Louis says
Thanks so much for this post. I am interested in featuring your ministry to the homeless on my blog and would love to email you about it. God bless.
Sam Riviera says
Lydia, You may use any ideas you find in the homeless posts I’ve written on this blog. I’ll e-mail you in a day or two after Jeremy gives me your e-mail and we’ll talk.
We are making blessing bags at our church for people that stand on corners of intersections with a homeless sign. Socks, razors, combs, shampoo etc… And plan on putting gospel tracts in them, wanting this to be on going, but my question is I would love to do what you guys do, let them know someone really cares. We have to meet physical needs sometimes before you can reach the spiritual need. My problem is I live in a rural area and don’t even know where the homeless sleep to be able to go out and talk to them like you see in the city. I know it is only by the grace of God that I’m not there, been close to it but not really there. Any suggestions. They look for acceptance and love just like anyone else. Thanks for this post and allowing me to post as well.
Sam Riviera says
Ask some of the local churches if they help the homeless or know who does. If they don’t know, do you have a local Salvation Army or similar organization? Once you find someone who knows where the homeless stay, where they sleep, where they go when it rains, ask if they know who goes to where the homeless are. Contact that group or person and ask if you can go with them when they go to the homeless.
Depending on where you find the homeless, we suggest that you do not go by yourself. Some of the places the homeless hang out are not safe for them or you.
Yes, get to know them and you will find out what they most need. The most important thing is usually getting to know you, being cared about, and cared for in whatever way you are able.
Recently, I learned to crochet, and since I can crochet more things than I will ever really need, I was considering distributing some of the items to the homeless along with some other necessities, like socks or snacks. I was wondering if people would be offended by the fact that the items were homemade and perhaps not of the best quality. Is the idea a good one at all, or am I better off buying hats, scarves, etc. in a store. Thanks for the help!
Sam Riviera says
Some of the items we distribute are homemade, such as winter hats and scarves. Most people readily accept them. If you area gets very cold in the winter, warm tightly knit hats and scarves, as well as wide scarves are usually the ones the homeless prefer. Socks are almost always welcomed. Snacks are good also. Many people have bad teeth, so items that are difficult to chew, such as apples, are often thrown away. Some people love junk food snacks, but many tell us they receive too much junk food and would like something healthier.
Simon Brooks says
I really like tips number four and five, because not a lot of people think about how much just sitting down and talking to someone can help them. Way back in the day, when I was in Boy Scouts, we would frequently visit a homeless shelter our church helped run. Instead of just serving food, after we were done serving we would go out among the tables and just talk to the people. You’d be surprised how many smiles you can get and how many days you can brighten just by showing someone you care enough about them to talk to them.
Sam Riviera says
Sometimes we neglect the most important things, and building relationships is one of those things. Looking people in the eye, listening to what they have to say and making an intelligent response that lets them know we really heard what they were saying, not acting like we’re in a hurry to move on but have time to listen, letting them know they are more important than our stupid cell phones, encouraging them and letting them know we think they can succeed – all of those things are extremely important in building relationships, including relationships with homeless people.
The homeless themselves have told us that they need relationship, people who love and support them and believe in them. Some have told us they have enough sandwiches, crackers and some of the other things that are frequently given to them, but they need more people who treat them as people.
Rose Wolfe says
I met a homeless man on the corner near my work about 6 weeks ago. I will call him Ben. Since then, I’ve gotten to know Ben pretty well. He has a cat which is why I initially stopped and talked to him because I’m a cat lover. That first day, I bought him way too much stuff, it was probably hard for him to carry. A blanket, sweater, cat food, food, etc. Since then I see him about 2-3 times a week and I sit and talk to him and hold his cat for about an hour each time, and talk about his life and family. I also check his cat for fleas and illness because I used to be a vet tech.
Over the past 6 weeks I’ve learned, and I truly believe, that he is not on any drugs nor does he have a mental illness, other than panic attacks at night. His family is very poor and can’t help him with money or a living situation. It is really cold where we live, and I’ve brought him clothes and cat food and blankets, but I still can’t sleep at night in my warm bed while I think of him out in the 20 degree weather, sometimes in rain and snow. A lot of times, if a homeless person walks away from their things, the police will throw it all away. And since i’ve known him that has happened twice, but it’s hard for him to carry his belongings everywhere he goes. He has told me that he avoids certain homeless groups/camps because some of the more mentally ill homeless have threatened his cat, so he usually sleeps in doorways in the city.
He struggles a great deal because of having his cat, who he refuses to give up. He found the kitty while he was homeless, as a sick and homeless kitten, and they have a strong bond. This makes it hard for him to go to the DHS and DMV and homeless shelters because none of these places allow animals. Regardless, he’s tracked down his social security card, got a state ID, got food stamps, and last week got an “Obama phone” i.e. free government phone with 500 minutes per month. I believe this shows that he’s trying to get himself out of this rut.
The problem I’m facing now is that I want to invite him into my life more and more so my husband and I can help him get out of homelessness, but my husband is extremely weary. My husband has never met him, and is anxious to meet him and doesn’t really want to. I’ve suggested that we get him a gym membership so he can have a place to shower every day, or even invite him over to shower every Saturday, keep his cat in our apartment, and just take him out to lunch or the movies, or whatever, even let him take a nap in our spare room. My husband says he trusts my judgement and I can do what I think is right, but he tells me over and over meeting him or doing any more than I already do makes him very uncomfortable.
My husband said he might be willing to meet Ben downtown in his usual spot, and hang out with him in a park and get lunch with him outside, but it’s so cold, I wish we could be more inviting.
What do you think? Am I trying to do too much, and is my husband right the we shouldn’t trust a stranger into our home? I know every situation is different, but I feel like I have a friendship with Ben and know him relatively well. What do you think we should do?
Sam Riviera says
Rose, Take your husband with you to meet Ben. Together you can decide how to best help him. The idea to buy him a gym membership to give him a place to get indoors for awhile and take a shower is a good idea. He may need help figuring out what to do with his cat and his things while he is in the gym. This seems simple, but may not be. It’s a huge issue when you are living on the street. What often works best is to make a friend on the street. When you go to a doctor’s appointment, to the gym, or somewhere that is serving food indoors, your friend watches your stuff. When he goes, you watch his stuff.
After your husband gets to know Ben, together you can decide whether or not to invite him into your home for a meal and a shower. There are also warm, insulated tent-type shelters you might consider buying for him. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me know and I’ll see if I can find you a link to them online.
Adrianna t says
I love this post. I live in an area where homeless individuals populate the streets. Many people give money to them and occasionally stuff. When I was younger I met a homeless man who was very mentally ill and was homeless because of it. I’ve never been able to shake that knowledge of that man and how his life turned out because of lack of assistance. So many homeless people suffer from mental illness, substance abuse, PTSD an others. Needless to say I want to help make a difference. Too often homeless assistance programs only provide shelter, food and basics. But starting over is hard. It takes courage to begin again. What I am beginning to start, a starter kit. Would include the basic hygiene an living toothbrush, underwear etc. I understand having items individually packaged so things aren’t wasted. And of course some food. I’ve made a checklist of the basics. Who they are, background, and so forth. This is something I would give to an individual and fill out with them. So we can devise a plan to move forward. Most don’t have IDs, SSN, or any identification. You can’t get a job or hardly do anything in life without the basics. And those that are suffering from mental issues, need specific resources and so on. For me I don’t want to just give them a blanket and say okay great meeting you take care. I want to start from the bottom an really help them escape from the homeless circle. I’m wondering what else I could do or how I could go about this. I’m getting in touch with a social security advocate who will help people with disability and those over 65, as well as shelters to help with more resources. I would love some feedback and to email you. Thank you.
Sam Riviera says
Adrianna, it sounds as if you are off to a good start. Homelessness is such a difficult and complex problem. Yes, many on the streets suffer from mental issues, substance abuse, PTSD and a variety of other issues. Our society seems to think it costs less to allow these people to live on the street (what a sad commentary on our culture) than to house and treat them. We have read about several recent studies here on the west coast that have found it actually costs more to have the homeless on the streets than off.
We continue befriending and working with the homeless in numerous ways. In a couple of hours we will head out onto the streets to spend time with our homeless friends. If you would like to communicate by e-mail, give permission here for me to contact you by e-mail and we can discuss specifics and we can try to answer your questions.
Aarif Kotadiya says
These are very good ideas to help the homeless people. The most required things by the homeless are the basic necessities like clothing, food, water etc. which is very nicely covered in points 5 and 6.
michelle lairet says
I’m a college student in Miami Florida . I attend FIU university . Every time I see a homeless person I feel upset and powerless knowing I cant help them all. I want to start a nonprofit in order to help the homeless adults and kids in Miami. I need some ideas and tips. will you be able to help me?
Sam Riviera says
Of course. Do you want me to contact you directly or here on the blog?
Lisa Kolvites says
Thank you for addressing the serious problem of homelessness. Encouraging people to reach out and help those in need is, what I believe, can end homelessness. I did just that. Check out the result. http://bit.ly/bap0371
I don’t know how I ended up here but I am extremely grateful that I did. Your post was really helpful Sam, in a lot of ways. I must say everyone’s post was so encouraged to me, especially Althea’s. wow, wow, you are courageous Althea, and I need of that at times. God have me started this ministry over a year ago. where I go out every third Saturday of the month with some other people who volunteers to come along to do similar work that you are doing. However, I have been a little discourage lately because of lack of resources that I am not able to provide them. It seems like you have a lot of experience in that area and you know where theses resources can be located. I would love to be in touch with you.
Sam Riviera says
Canitha, You may be able to partner with your local food bank or similar organization that receives extra and slightly out-of-date bread, crackers, cookies, produce and similar items from local grocery stores and other food sellers. Some of these organizations have access to food, but not enough people willing to distribute it on the streets to the homeless. Not all of these organizations, however, are interested in working with the homeless. Some of them charge for the food in an effort to cover their overhead (trucks to pick up the food, packaging supplies, refrigeration and so on).
Richard Wilson says
Great article and I started a campaign called Happy housing and raise money for homelessness right across the country. I gave all the revenue from two of our mobile games that are nominated for multiple awards at the Canadian Video Game Awards next month. I deal with youth with barriers and teach them life and employability skills to keep them off the streets.
We are partnered with Google, Hooplah Inc., Tripp Law, John Howard Society, Homelessness Steering Committees in each city, and musician David Myles. You can visit our website at http://happyhousing.org or http://rikkir.com and would like to partner with anyone who is looking for funds or would like to help with the cause.
This winter we a family of 4 thinking to feed the homeless and we really want to work it out successfully. Can we ask for other people’s help or we need any charity registration number to start this work..??
Sam Riviera says
Not knowing where you are located, I don’t know if your local government requires a “charity registration number.” I am not familiar with such a requirement. Some locales require a food handlers license or something similar, depending on the type of food you are giving. Usually, prepackaged items that do not require refrigeration, such as bottled water, crackers and so on do not require such a license, while foods such as meat that need to be kept hot or cold may need it, as well as the proper equipment to keep the food hot or cold.
If there are churches or other organizations in your area that feed the homeless, talk to them. They may know what your local requirements are.
Thank you very much for your reply. We are located in UK. Talking with local churches and other organisations is a great idea to start with. Thanks again.
Camelia Pena says
We have a vision: We have 6 acres we would like to become a 503c and provide services for the homeless. We would like to build facilities that will have showers, laundry mats, toilets for men and women separately. The facilities for men would be in the far left and the women’s facility in the far right. There is no need for men and women to be in the same facility. Each facility will have its own laundry mat, toilets and showers. In the middle of these acres build an entertainment center which would include computers, microwaves and a kitchen area. Around the area build tents or little rooms one section for men the other for women and the middle for families. But there are rules only for homeless people, no smoking, no drugs, no drinking. They can live there for free but help with the chores such as mowing grass, cleaning the facilities plus do some gardening for food consumption. Another requirement must look for jobs. How can we do this? Hopefully asking major companies for donations and not necessary monetary. We would ask for supplies such as clothing, food, laundry goods, cleaning goods etc from major companies. We would really like to help out the veterans whom are homeless. We could help these people by using computers to help them search for jobs or get a better education or help them enhance their skills that they already know. These accommodations would probably not be the best but they will have at least shelter, food, clean clothing and showers everyday. Thought about security for the area, veterans can provide this and hopefully we could pay them with grants from the government and monies from the community. We have a bus system that maybe by talking to them they can provide transportation in the morning and evening and maybe in between. All we need to do is to get started and lots of help.
A. Deborah Butler says
Great tips on how to help the homeless. It’s sad seeing them sleeping on the sidewalks and people just passing by them. The homeless need to know that they are cared for. Jesus encouraged us to love our neighbor. The homeless are our neighbors. They need our help. I like the idea of talking to them and finding out what they need. I like the idea of giving them water, toiletries, clothes, blankets and other essentials as well as tracts.
We give water, McDonald’s gift cards for $5 each (a great place to go in the early morning cold for a cup of coffee), sleeping bags, socks, easy to open/no preparation required food, and small SUNSCREEN packets! The first time, I gave one very sunburned man the full container I keep in our vehicle just in case. Since then, I have seen a few homeless men with obvious skin cancers they are unwilling to have treated.
Hello, I’d like to reach out to the homeless, but I don’t have a constant means of income. How do I do this?
Hi Jeremy an from the state of Georgia. My church family and I are collaborating with our local churches to come together collectively to help the homeless. I see that you provide Tarps and you said that you purchased them from Harbor Freight for $1.99. Sir are you still getting them for that price?
Sam Riviera says
This post was written in 2013. Usually, the sale price for these tarps at Harbor Freight in 2018 is $2.99. Sometimes the stores run in-store specials, but we have not seen them for less than $2.99 recently. Some people buy rolls of heavy plastic/Visqueen from home supply stores (such as Home Depot) and cut them into smaller pieces which can be used as tarps. The $1.99, now $2.99 Harbor Freight tarps are about 7′ X 9′. Depending on the product, the rolls of heavy plastic and Visqueen are often 12′ wide and 100′ long or longer. The tarps usually have corner grommets, which makes them much easier to tie down.
I have just started something (today was my 1st day) and it did not go well. Instead of pulling up to a stoplight and seeing a homeless person begging (depressing) for a dollar, I thought I’d do something out of the ordinary and fun! I made signs saying “laughs for $1” and thought of a bunch of ways I could make people driving by “laugh and get them to give me a dollar” (that I could give to the homeless person on the corner!) I have spoken to 3 (my first day and I only went out for an hour) homeless people and asked them if I could help them make some money. I got 1 person that was “crazy crazy crazy (I mean it)” and 2 others that said no. One guy told me “he had too much time on his hands for that” and the other guy and girl (they were together) told me that I was “just trying to get them in trouble” – whatever that means? Anyhow, I suppose I could volunteer at the mission but I will not. I want to help people that want help – not people in line to get a handout. I am going to exhaust myself and try to have made contact with as many homeless people in Nashville that I can and see if they will let me help them make some money. If I continue to come across the same type of people I came across today (I am not making up my mind early but just being prepared) then I will stop trying. Eventually, I will stop. I really hope to find just 1 person that is willing to let me help them and let me do my thing on their corner and be able to give them the money I collect. Could I just “give the homeless person some of my money”….sure….But I won’t. I want to help people that want help – that let me help them. I will not throw money at people that have “no will to live or desire for my assistance” just so they can get high or whatever a homeless person does with money. If you ask someone if you can help them and they say no….then they belong where they are IMO. Hopefully I will find someone that lets me help them make a few dollars and I will do that! Otherwise, I will give up (when I feel I have done all I can do) and I will live the rest of my days ignoring every homeless person (they don’t want help) without any negative emotion. Why would I help people that don’t want it? All they want is a handout. Perhaps those that contribute to them enable them? If they weren’t getting food and cloths then maybe they would do something about their lives? Perhaps I shouldn’t be so judgmental? I really wish the 2nd guy I talked today (the 1st one was the crazy one) said, “Sure…..go ahead!”But, that’s not what I got. I will know within the next few months if helping homeless people is something I will continue to try to do – or not. I want to find someone that lets me help them, I really do – I want to help that person. I applaud this articles effort. Going out and providing water and treating them like people is very powerful. I question it’s effectiveness – or am I missing the point? I will never help someone that won’t help themselves. All I’m asking to do is let me help them make some $ and so far – not so good. My chin is up…I’m not done yet! Any suggestions? Does my idea suck? Does my “I will not help someone that doesn’t let me help them” attitude suck? I’m trying. I felt good today “trying” even though I wasn’t successful. Maybe I shouldn’t be trying to help them make money? Am I doing something wrong?
My husband and i go out every saturday at the same time and same place and feed the homeless community of St Joseph Mo. They receive a hot home cooked meal plus dessert and also we take used clothing and hygiene items. we get to talk to them about Jesus and just give an ear to listen to there weekly and daily struggles. Our community does very little to help these people and its sad. my goal is to one day open up a Mission house to help get them back into society and give them some hope. we have a facebook page called Life Outreach feel free to check us out. Our church family has been very helpful by supporting us and that has helped so much.
Som Biswakarma says
I’m from ray of hope church and our youth are trying to help homeless people who are in our community. we don’t know if we need to get permission in order to do that and we don’t even know where to ask. I need some ideas and tips.
Derrick May says
i have read some of these post and i am happy others are reaching out to help the less fortunate. I did a blanket and coat drive last winter for the homeless in San Bernadino. It went well but i want to do more for the streets. I was young and homeless for about a year and it was a long year. We need help from cities were this homeless thing is a problem. Those are the people that turn there backs and dont care, because there life is good. We need to use these abandon buildings that no one can afford to rent and run a business out of and put the homeless there with showers, beds, medical aid, and haircuts. the people that stay there can serve there purposes in the streets, I dont know if anyone has noticed but there is a lot of trash on our streets, why can we use the homeless to help in the cities and communities. Lots with grass knee high they can maintain these things in exchange to get them off the streets. We can set up learning skills in the home were there aloud to stay at. Instead of building a wall to keep people out what are we gonna do with the people that are already here. These little handouts everyone gives out like that makes a difference after awhile, We need to raise awareness and financial funds to really do things for the homeless. people who are nice enough to sit and talk to theme have a better place to really get through. How do you give someone hope and return them back to the environment thats causing some the pain?
What bothers me are these assholes who try to have a spiritual experience by giving me stuff cause they think I’m homeless. I’M NOT!!! What’s more, I shower and shave every day and wear clean clothes. I’m not a fashion plate, but I am clean. Yet these suburban assholes who drive to my city looking for homeless people to save keep trying to give me stuff, like money and boloney sandwiches and Big Macs and kits they put together with tooth paste and shampoo. Usually they are from some suburban church. The other day this housewife pulled over in an SUV and started waving a McDonalds bag at me. Then she saif “You poor man, where did you sleep last night?”
I told her “I slept with your daughter.”
Rose Mary Taylor says
I was homeless in 2016 and 2017. I was trying to get my lot cleared to build a home so I would never be homeless again. The guy that stated he would clear the stole the trees and ran off. I file court papers and was only offered $600.00 for over 60 trees and sexually harassed by the guy. Then overcharged by the second guy to clear the lot. Why is it so hard for veterans to build a home?
Julia Skinner says
I am a girl scout troop leader we make homeless backpacks. We put a hat, gloves, scarf, pair of socks, water and some sort of granola bar. Also am emergency blanket.
Patrick Hollander says
We do a yearly outreach called “The Blue Van Project”
Every year around Christmas, a motley crew of volunteers gather
as many snack bags and Hygiene bags as we can afford.
We collect as much clothing and comfort items as we can,
Coats and more warm coats, Gloves, Socks, Hats, toiletry, Blankets, Etc
We then go give it all away at Third and Couch!!!
Cash donations used for female hygiene products and portable healthy snacks along with coffee and snacks for the homeless.
“The Blue Van Project” is a group of family and friends in recovery who gather each year in an attempt to spread the warmth of the season and to help pay back what was so freely given. They assemble snack bags and a variety of items that someone living on the street might need.
I DO give out cigarettes and lighters as I believe they provide a conduit of trust. We have done this for years and have tangible proof that we make a difference, volunteers that were on the street and now want to pay it forward.
andrew ray fogle says
news flash — being homeless is not all that bad, there are so many ways to get what you need, with out begging, or even spending money. my biggest problem is, greedy ass people who seem to think i should pay them for the right to be alive, or better yet, every time i think i found a good spot to build me a small worm, dry shelter, some ass hole with a loaded gun, rolls up on me and makes it clear, i have no right to be anywhere. therefore — if you or anyone else has the right to shoot and kill me because i will not pay them, just let me know when and where and i will be there, what is you answer for that problem?
Thank you for posting this practical advice. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to share this site to Reddit. Hopefully it will encourage a few others in great ways to give. What do you suggest for people who can’t get out and go where the homeless are? (For example, I have a newborn and, considering his health and safety, going out isn’t a possibility.)
Doris Glanz says
My husband and I have been helping the homeless for about six weeks. We help those in Galveston, Texas. Your posts are very helpful. We take small sacks, #4 size and fill it with things helpful to them, can be a variety of things that I think might interest them. I do ask them if they want to give me their name so I can pray for them, many do. If I don’t know their name, I give them a nickname, one is Sam the bicycle man, the Grocery Cart couple, the curbmen or outside edge men. We did not go last weekend because Galvestoñ had a motorcycle rally. The week before that we took shoes and some winter clothes. Another thing I take is plastiç grocery bags with handles, they really want them, I buy them at Aldi Grocery store. I ask one woman if she really sleeps on the “street.” She said yes, and told me they(meaning her and her cat) were attacked by two dogs. She is a kind soul and keeps extra stuff for when others ask her.