Homelessness is a complex issue. A person experiencing a homeless crisis is just that: a person. Like all people, they each have a different story about becoming homeless.
It’s crucial to understand that homelessness is more than not having shelter. It’s living without a support network, being cold or hungry or sick, and sometimes having hundreds of people walk by you each day pretending you don’t exist.
3 Ways You Can Truly Make a Difference
The question of how to help a homeless person is not always easy to answer. We’ve outlined some general suggestions; however, first and foremost, it’s essential to remember the humanity of each homeless person you encounter.
- Learn how to see people dealing with a homeless crisis as people and treat them with dignity and respect
An easy, effective way to accomplish this is to get in the habit of seeing and making eye contact with a person experiencing a homeless crisis. Even if you can’t help someone who asks for help, you can politely tell them you can’t help today. People in a homeless crisis often struggle with self-esteem. Talking to them with respect and kindness can make an enormous difference.
- Make an effort to understand why they are experiencing a homeless crisis
Contrary to some people's beliefs, the data flies in the face of the most common misconception about people experiencing a homeless crisis— that they “chose to be homeless.” While this does not suggest that personal choices don’t matter, most homeless people worked and paid rent just like everybody else before circumstances changed their lives.
- Avoid giving money, food, and blankets
Although giving individuals experiencing homelessness money, food, and blankets might feel good, it’s not the best option. Instead, please direct them to the necessary treatment resources Vegas Stronger offers to set them on a healing path.
Help Us Address the Homeless Crisis in Las Vegas With Evidence-Based Strategies
The Vegas Stronger six-point plan to end homelessness goes beyond traditional and unsuccessful tactics to deal with the underlying causes of homelessness. Join our dedicated staff and supporters to go beyond conventional, unsuccessful tactics to end homelessness. Your donation can help our most vulnerable individuals reclaim their lives and contribute to society.