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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:13 PM

Some things that you may not think about when giving to the homeless.

Last edited Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:21 PM - Edit history (4)

As many know, I was on the streets for roughly a year and a half. And it is rough out there. One needs to eat, to have a way to wash, a place to sleep. But there are some things people may not think of when they are wanting to help. I have been asked by others what else could help. So I thought to make this little list up, that way it will give you an idea what else can be donated that you may not think about.

Something that is a necessity is a good size pack. When you are out there, it is your home. It is something that is in short supply as well. So if you have a school pack that is the kind a high schooler would carry and no longer using it, please donate it. Even a rolling suitcase is useful. Rolling backpacks are a dream come true! And if you have a messenger bag that you donít use, please donate it, that is great for carrying paperwork in. Believe me, when you are homeless, you have a lot of paperwork you need to try (the big word) and keep with you.

Another thing is dark color blankets. They are used all year long. The dark color works as camouflage at night while one sleeps. So, light or heavy in weight, if they are dark the homeless need it! If you have a dark sleeping bag you donít want anymore, it would be great to. The street is not very soft.

Eye glasses. So many could use reading glass. Prescription glass as well. Many places have an eye glass drop off to help people that cannot afford them. Sun glasses, all year around need. One must protect from the sun and from the wind. So if you see some cheap reading glasses at one of those $1 shops, pick a couple up to donate to your local shelter to give out, the sunglasses too! You would not believe how much they are needed!

Pens and paper. I know that sounds odd. But when you are trying to find work or take down information to remember later, you need to have something to write on and with. Folders with pockets are great to. You will not believe how much paperwork is involved when you are in poverty and worse. Sometimes it feels like a full time office job just to get help.

Besides the usual cloths like jeans (jeans are a major thing for women and men) everyday shoes, and t-shirt (sweat shirt and coats in winter), the homeless also need cloths for getting work. Believe it or not there are people out there that are in need of black or khaki slacks, dress shoes, blouses/ white dress shirts, and everything else one need to dress for work are a must have to get a job. The dress codes for department stores, call centers, etc. are what is needed on top of the usual needed cloths. Oh, and underwear! For both sexes (bras are an extreme luxury for a homeless woman and you canít look nice without one). You would not believe how little underwear can be found at the places that help with giving out cloths to the homeless.

Wallets, glasses cases and phone cases is something that are very useful. The government phones do not come with holders and that makes it hard to take care of. Those phones are your only way to reach help in an emergency and get contacted for a possible job. The phone holder, glasses case and wallets make it easier to keep your ID, food cards (many food banks that help with homeless food packs use an ID card and you also need to keep your food stamp card safe) and many other needed cards in and safe. And the glasses case to keep oneís glasses safe. If you have any that you donít use anymore, please donate them. They will not go unwanted!

Another thing is Maxis and Tampons. Yes, the women need them. But did you know that the guys will carry Maxisí as part of a makeshift first aid kit? Things to treat wounds are big. So is hygiene in general. Toilet paper is street currency. Someone has extra can of spaghetti that is worth one roll of TP.

Something else that is also worth its weight in gold are water bottles. The kind that you can fill in a park bathroom or drinking fountain. Having water is something that is very important, there had been many a death due to not having water to drink out there. I remember seeing many homeless get taken away in an ambulance due to being dehydrated. Eating utensils are a nice thought too! Spoon fork and knife is something that are so nice to have. And a can opener! Oh, I had been given cans of food but had no way to open it.

The last thing many donít think of is pet food and leashes. Thatís right, pet food and leashes. Many homeless have dogs, some even have cats. They are, for many, what is left of their family. The animals watch them and they watch out for the dog or cat. It is such an attachment that those that do have pets will not go to shelters due to the no pets allowed rule at many. It is that important, the pet is their family, what is left of love. I have seen the attachment so strong that if something happens to that pet, the owner will not be long for this world. The food to proper feed them and the leashes to keep legal. Another big thing that has started to happen is groups that are making sure that the homeless pets get shots and licenses. They ever try to help get then spaded or neutered. If you have a group in your area helping with this a donation to buy the shots are welcome in a big way!

For those that are looking for something to do, I hope that it gives you some ideas. To those that are reading this and remembers that you have some of this stuff and you arenít using them, please donate!


Add on: Socks, Rain gear, Foot powder, batteries, sowing kit, flash lights and Walkman type radios.

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Reply Some things that you may not think about when giving to the homeless. (Original post)
Lady Freedom Returns Dec 2012 OP
Whovian Dec 2012 #1
niyad Dec 2012 #2
annabanana Dec 2012 #3
LiberalEsto Dec 2012 #4
lunatica Dec 2012 #5
monmouth3 Dec 2012 #6
Lady Freedom Returns Dec 2012 #10
Daveparts3 Dec 2012 #7
Lady Freedom Returns Dec 2012 #9
siligut Dec 2012 #8
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #11
GreenPartyVoter Dec 2012 #12
madamesilverspurs Dec 2012 #13
Lady Freedom Returns Dec 2012 #16
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #14
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calimary Dec 2012 #60
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ErikJ Dec 2012 #18
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Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #19
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me b zola Dec 2012 #26
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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:17 PM

1. Wonderful words.

 

Been there, done that. K and R.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:18 PM

2. glad that you are no longer on the streets, hope all is going well for you.

thank you for this list--truly helpful

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:20 PM

3. kick . . .n/t

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:20 PM

4. Thank you for these good suggestions.

I have extra eyeglass cases.
Dollar Tree sells leashes and lots of other useful things.
I go to a lot of garage sales and can pick up things for next to nothing, like eating utensils.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:21 PM

5. Thanks for the list



There was a time in my life when I was poor enough that I couldn't afford food, but I was never homeless.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:22 PM

6. OMG, I have quite a bit of what you list and I do have a homeless "friend" who is paranoid schizo

and acts out without her meds. She's a grand ole gal and we speak to each other all of the time when I see her. This will be so helpful to her. She is the kind also that I could give her this stuff and she will make sure those who need it will get it. Thank you so much for posting this. I worry about the homeless, it's getting cold at night down here and I wonder where they're going if anywhere at all. Thanks again...

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Response to monmouth3 (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:35 PM

10. With her being a woman a dark blanket can mean the difference of life and death.

Dark cloths to wear at night too. A woman MUST stay hidden at night.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:25 PM

7. Toothbrush!

Dental floss, razors,soap, shampoo, basically anything you can't buy with food stamps

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Response to Daveparts3 (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:32 PM

9. Hygiene in general.

Those small bottles are the best. Easy to carry. That is the big thing, the ability to put in a pack without taking a lot of space.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:29 PM

8. Thank you for sharing your insight

I prefer to be useful and effective.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:37 PM

11. K&R !!! n/t

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:39 PM

12. Thank you!

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:41 PM

13. Thank you for this,

I will be sharing it!

-

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:04 PM

16. I hope everyone shares it.

Many don't think about stuff like this. Even the newly homeless. The more info that gets out, the more easier it will be for many. Thinking of the little stuff is the last thing many think of when they first become homeless. When they do relies they need it, they don't know how to get it. The need for it is so great that when they go to try and find it, it is gone. I remember trying to get sanitary napkins. It was so hard! I was lucky that another homeless woman happen to get a whole box form her last shelter visit that she gave me some.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:51 PM

14. Are their no prisons? And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?

 

Great thread!

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:54 PM

15. Ah, A Christmas Carol.

A book that is one of the first to look at the problem.
It is fitting to think about all year long.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:36 PM

17. AND SOCKS!!!

I can't believe I forgot socks on the list! You wear them out so quick. That and they help keep your feet healthy. You have to watch out for your feet!

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:30 PM

34. And foot powder to avoid the toe and nail rot.

 

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:50 AM

60. Socks absolutely. Sometimes that's all they have for shoes. Just socks.

And the weather is cold.

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Response to calimary (Reply #60)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:54 AM

61. Sadly that is true.

Many don't have any shoes or coats or even long pants. It is hard to get on the streets. Many don't know where to go get these things.


However, those with shoes are in bad need for socks due to keeping their feet healthy. When you are being chased by a gang of teenagers, you need good feet. I was lucky I was hidden well enough not to be seen when I first encounter some of these type of kids. Many ar not that lucky.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:39 PM

18. Signs for homeless listing these.

Maybe somebody could make signs listing these items for homeless sign holders at intersections.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:02 PM

30. Soon you won't see anyone flying or shaking a can for anything.

Many laws has and are going into effect that will punish the flyer's for do it. There are some places that will fine you for helping them.

Shaking a can= asking people for money or food as they walk by.
Flying= standing at the side of the road with a sign.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:48 PM

20. Thank you for this list, LFR.

You probably know I work in a medical clinic that provides health care for the homeless.

If people could just follow me around for a single day, it would open their eyes to the realities of life in the homeless community.

The most important thing to remember about homeless people is that they are people. People just as deserving of dignity, kindness, and respect as anyone who has a roof over their heads.

I can't tell you how many of my patients have expressed gratitude that they have a place where they can go and be treated like a human being. I don't treat my patients grudgingly, like recipients of charity reluctantly given, but as people with whom I have a relationship, and am always glad to see.

I'm glad you're off the streets, LFR. There is hope for everyone, no matter how low they have been beaten down by life...

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Response to Aristus (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:25 PM

26. I think that is the most over-looked necessity of the homeless and impoverished:

To be treated with dignity.

Thank you and the best of the Holiday season to you

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Response to Aristus (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:23 PM

50. That is something many forget.

I can not tell you how many times I had things thrown at me from car window or hear people yell "Get a Job". I can tell you that it hurts.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #50)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:01 AM

62. That's what people like that don't understand (or refuse to understand...):

Many of my patients have jobs; they're usually those 'Labor Ready' things. You know - work today, get paid today - so it earns them an income. But it's rarely enough to get them off the streets. Not when you need first-and-last-month's rent in advance, credit check, damage deposit, criminal background check, all of that.

Don't anybody here ever demand that a homeless person "get a job". Or I will reach through this computer monitor and throttle you!

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:53 PM

21. Very informative

Bookmarking

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:54 PM

22. What orgs to give to? nt

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:28 PM

33. look in your local phone book or google search for your area.

You can not believe how many little places there are local that try to help. Some of your local thrift stores have a special "back room" just for giving out cloths to the homeless. And some restaurants may be restaurants by day, but when the sun goes down, they become a soup kitchen.

They are hard to find, sometimes it is hard for the homeless to, but they do some of the best help.
For example there is a group in Springfield Mo called Moccasin Mile Outreach, they do have a facebook page. They mainly help with homeless vets. They look at each person differently. Because they see that every case is deferent.
Then there is a place in Tucson AZ called Guadeloupe's that give out food for the homeless. I mean that they make a large sack lunch that will last all day long so you can have lunch dinner and breakfast out of it.

Just look around and help them in your community. The best way to help is in your own back yard.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #33)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:04 PM

46. A lot of food banks also do much more, serving as community resource centers

The one in my community provides a wide range of services and has now taken over operation of the local 120-bed homeless shelter (which has been filled to capacity since the advent of colder weather in September).

Today we served 480 Christmas dinners at the resource center and provided toys for all the children. The volunteer coordinator for the event was worried about not having enough help because only about 30 volunteers had signed up in advance. But the center has a website and FB page and is very good at networking throughout the community, so the coordinator needn't have worried. Well over 100 people showed up to volunteer.

We also have a quarterly outreach to veterans that follows the Stand Down for Homeless Veterans model. The veterans outreach is independent of the resource center, but the center's director happens to serve as co-chair of the committee that runs the outreach program.

For anyone looking for info on resources available in a community, the web makes it a lot easier to find these days.



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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:07 PM

23. Great post. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:16 PM

24. It is so sad that this OP is so necessary today.

I remember when there were very few homeless in this country.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:20 PM

25. and money ....

I keep $5 bills in my car to hand out when i see someone with a sign by the roadside.

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Response to shireen (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:01 PM

45. Be careful doing that depending on your area.

Last edited Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:51 PM - Edit history (2)

Sadly there are laws in many placed that will arrest them and fine you. Also be careful of the amount. Money is a blessing and a curse. If a darker homeless person see you give the money and see mutable bills, the person you gave it to becomes a target.
The streets are a dark and dangerous place.

If you do give money, please make it 1 bill and folded up. That way the amount cannot be seen by others.

Dark person=street slang for bad guy, thug, all around bullies

If you hear a street person say "He's a dark." to another homeless person about someone, you may want to watch the one they are talking about to.

Also their is different slang for different areas of the country. If you volunteer/work at any of the soup kitchens or shelters, you will pick it up.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:42 AM

68. thanks for the tips

Usually, there aren't any other homeless people around. The guys i encounter are usually at intersections with traffic lights. Sometimes, I think it's an organized effort, that they take turns at different intersections. One time i saw two guys together, they were quite friendly with each other.

It's always one bill, folded.


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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:26 PM

27. K&R

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:48 PM

29. I made friends with a homeless guy

down in Kansas City. All he wanted was a cigarette. I gave him a couple packs and we had a good chat. He was a wonderful person!! But now I feel really guilty about only giving him cigarettes.

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Response to FiggyJay (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:21 PM

49. That is the other currency on the street.

One cigarette goes for 25-50 cents or 1 can of soda.

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Response to FiggyJay (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:04 AM

79. one can NEVER underestimate the importance of "squares"

 

out on the street.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:13 PM

31. thanks for the post

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:26 PM

32. Flash light and batteries.

 

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:25 PM

38. Good one! So is a radio.

I forgot that due to my great eye sight in the dark. Reason I have to have to have sun glasses. But that is a big tool on the street! And the batteries are great because some homeless have radios. A radio is very important because you need to know what is going on around you. Knowing the weather and news can mean a lot.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:00 AM

78. This isn't the exact brand,

but I purchased 5 of the Red Cross equivalents last year and gave them to one of the local missions I have a relationship with. With these, you don't need batteries, plus they have hand cranks and USB ports to charge cell phones. I have one for my house also for when the power goes out.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12252547&clickid=prod_cs

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:36 PM

35. K & R !!! - Thank You For That !!!




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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:37 PM

36. how about umbrellas or anything else if it rains ?

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Response to JI7 (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:11 PM

37. Best thing for the rain is things like the those rain tarps

Something you can throw on and another to cover your pack and sleeping stuff. An umbrella helps, but the other is better for sleeping in if there is rain at night. The rain is the best time to sleep without getting hassled. No one want to be out in it.

That is also why large garbage sacks are great! The large black ones to place your stuff in and hide it at night. Dark colors are your friend at night. Many a nasty group of teenagers walked right by me, with their bats in their hands looking for targets.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:18 PM

39. A kick due to add on on list. n/t

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:30 PM

40. Excellent info. Will share with my scout groups

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Response to cpamomfromtexas (Reply #40)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:35 PM

41. Thank you!

That is what I was hoping would happen. People sharing and looking at things they don't use or need.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:37 PM

42. Thanks for the excellent information.

So many want to help during the holiday season, but these are great ideas for all year around.

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Response to senseandsensibility (Reply #42)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:46 PM

43. Sadly, the need is all year long.

The holiday season is when most of what is needed comes in. Summer is the hard time. It is hot and is the hardest time to find a place to sleep without getting hassled.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #43)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:03 PM

51. Are gently used

clothes acceptable? I have some things that have hardly been worn. I have some shoes that were worn once and a couple of coats I worse once or twice.

I'm not sure where to take things in this area but I'll look around. I can certainly purchase some toiletry items at the Family Dollar Store to give as well. We cut back on Christmas gift giving this year - we didn't really need or even want anything in particular so I could use some of that money to help.

I need to find a place where I can volunteer to help.


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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #51)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:06 PM

52. YES!

As for finding a place to donate and help at, you can use FB and google search.

And thank you!

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #52)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:15 PM

53. I usually give clothes

to my sisters, but frankly, they don't need them either and could really afford to buy their own. I'll do some checking around for an organization.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:57 PM

44. K&R

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:11 PM

47. Thank you

I'm going to start keeping some of these things on hand for the people who come to my office. Thanks.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:12 PM

48. K+R. Thank you.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:23 PM

54. There is a homeless woman who sleeps a block from my home.

It's avery public spot, which makes it safer because the police are always patrolling this street for hookers. FOr some reson, they don't roust her from this spot, although I have seen them roust homeless men.

You post inspired me to take a heavy long length peacoat I have has hangin in my closet for 6 years(waiting to lose weight so it will git me0 and walk it down to her tonight.

She was amazed. She kept asking me if I was sure or if I wanted to change my mind.

I had considered asking her in on the cold or rainy nights but after talking to her on other occasions, I found she is an unmedicated schizophenic. I had two others like that in my life and they can be really touchy to deal with.

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Response to Hatchling (Reply #54)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:31 PM

57. Many cops don't usually bother homeless women due to the lack of places for them in many areas.

And keeping them in sight can keep other things from happening. Many a homeless women is found dead in dark alleyways. And mental illness is a BIG problem. When you can't afford the meds, you can't get them. And getting on a program takes time. So, till one can get the meds and get stable it is hard to get work. It is one of those vicious cycles.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:26 PM

55. definitely bookmarking.

This is something I will definitely want to remember for later. Thank you.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:26 PM

56. Thanks for the tips.

 

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:06 AM

58. Thank you

Although I barely have enough money to take care of myself, I would like to help others less fortunate and I have some of the items on your list.

I even have my mothers prosthetic leg but found they can't be used in this country for some reason. I haven't searched for a way to donate it for years (I forgot I still had it until just now), but if a homeless person could use it, I would be delighted.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to get items to people who need them. Should I contact a homeless shelter and ask?

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Response to Digit (Reply #58)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:14 AM

59. Great way to start.

If they can't use it, they will have contact info for those that can.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:08 AM

63. Thank you for this - only someone who has been there can really know.

I've been close to homeless at times, but never actually on the street. Bookmarking to save and spread around as widely as possible.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:32 AM

64. Great tips

I always worry about enabling an addiction by giving cash. I usually research the charity to ensure it doesn't pay for some asshole's shack-rabbit condo.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:34 AM

65. awesome list

Thanks so much for posting. We're in the process of moving so all of our stuff is in storage. We're also in Tucson now so as soon as we get moved and our stuff unloaded and put away, I'm looking for the nearest shelter to help out and donate. I can't imagine being a woman and homeless. It's just not safe for women in this country anymore and to be homeless? I can't imagine. I would never sleep except through exhaustion. I have old glasses, sun glasses, an old walkman with batteries, I can donate dark blankets, coats, dress clothes for interviewing and will even donate money to go to Goodwill to get whatever I miss. Thanks so much and good luck.

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Response to LittleGirl (Reply #65)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:40 PM

99. St Vincent De Paul Thrift Stores in Tucson

They are one of those thrift stores that have one of those "back rooms" I have talked about in some of the other posts.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:30 AM

66. K&R

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:34 AM

67. Thank you.

You have given me much to think about.

I am involved in a local program to help feed the homeless, and it's something I get great joy from. I think very hard about what I will fix when I am cooking for them. I try very hard to make things that I myself would want to eat. I get many compliments on my food. I also consider these people our guests, at the homeless shelter. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like for them.

I've been doing this for about four years now, and I should be doing more. I appreciate your suggestions. I know that homelessness is a huge problem, with multiple causes, and few things make me angrier than the people who airily proclaim that the homeless are homeless by choice. I can tell, as I'm serving food to our guests, that some have been on the streets for a long time, some are new to this, and some . . . well I can't tell. I do believe that each one has an individual story and that they probably would much rather have a permanent place to live. I try very hard to treat the guests with dignity and respect. Because at the end of my shift I get to go home to my small home, but it's mine, and I'm in almost no danger of losing it and living on the street. They don't have this luxury.

So now I think I'll contact the homeless shelter I work with, and ask what they most need in the clothes closet and get some of those things.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:11 AM

70. This is one of the best posts I have found on DU. Thank you.

I am going to share this list with my friends.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:09 AM

71. I will start going through my closets today.

Thank you so much! This is brilliant and so lovely of you.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:58 AM

72. My local food bank issues "Wish Lists". These are great because...

you can match them up with things you have and you can buy things that are desperately needed. If this month's list asks for a type of diapers or formula I can clip coupons, shop and drop off exactly what people really need.

I loved when Occupy Sandy ran that wedding registry and you could give the actual product someone asked for and needed.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:41 AM

73. If our 1% government cannot provide shelter for the homeless, it could at least

provide public place where people can use a john, shower, do laundry and fill water bottles.

People who do not want to provide at least that much are inhuman, IMO

As far as canned goods. look for those pop top cans, too, just in case someone loses his or her can opener.

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Response to merrily (Reply #73)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:00 PM

86. oh good point on the pop top can goods

thank you

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Response to merrily (Reply #73)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:48 PM

94. Walk in centers.

The are few and far between, but they are out there. They are walk in centers also called day centers, they have washers, dryers, showers and a few have cloths banks or free stores to get cloths to the homeless that are needing them. Some even go as far as to give a meal a day. They are few and far between, but they are life savers when you need those services and need information for help.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:41 AM

74. Great OP.

 

Kick

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:52 AM

75. Good suggestions.

 

We have alot of those items laying around that I'll pack up and take to our local church that helps the homeless.

Last night we invited our local homeless to our station house for a christmas dinner, the look of gratefullness on their faces was priceless.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:54 AM

76. What is a "massager bag," please?

I confess I don't know. I googled it and the only hits I got were "did you mean messenger bag" which would make sense since you mentioned paperwork. But I actually have two old messenger bags with shoulder straps that I was wondering what to do with before I read your post.

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Response to reflection (Reply #76)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:40 PM

81. Right - she misspelled "messenger bag."

I just copied the lead note into MS Word and I'm in the process of proofreading it and fixing the typos and spelling errors. That one was especially confusing.

When I'm finished I'll send a clean copy of the OP to Lady Freedom Returns by PM and see what (if anything) she wants to do with it. Maybe someone has already beat me to it, but I'm kind of a compulsive proofreader. Right now I'm fixing it up the way I'd repost it on FreeCycle Cafe and elsewhere.

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Response to reflection (Reply #76)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:35 PM

93. Fixed it. Sorry about that. n/t

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:59 AM

77. Great thread!

 

Thanks!

A few new ideas for my list.

Here's one: one gallon freezer weight zip lock bags, for keeping personal gear dry. (Old camper's trick.)

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:04 AM

80. knr. and thank you! nt

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:44 PM

82. Thanks for posting. You've opened my eyes.

While I already donate regularly, there are several items, etc. that I'd not thought about before. So thanks for educating me by sharing your first hand knowledge.

I hope that your own situation is now better and secure. The idea that anyone in America has no bed at night is something that both amazes me and angers me. We have to insist that we all do better!!!

Can you give me some insight into why some homeless people don't want to go to the shelters that exist? We have a very large, well funded homeless shelter in San Antonio. The shelter has employees and volunteers who actually go out into the homeless community, especially when it gets cold, to try to persuade people to come to the shelter. There are many homeless that simply will not come. I know of one older gentleman who several people have tried to help, and he's not open to receiving help. Is there anything that can be done so that more people would take advantage of what is available????

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #82)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:03 PM

84. Having been homeless myself last year, I can give you a few reasons why...

During my 3 weeks on the street, I found out a lot I never knew about the homeless, as well as totally changing my own opinion.

Many shelters are tied to religious organizations, and often have a "catch" to being able to stay the night...you have to sit through prayer services. I can see why some would not care to have that shoved down their throats, as they already feel like they have been abandoned by "the powers that be".

Another is shelter "rules" only allowing one "bag" into the shelter. I lost better than 3/4 of my clothes due to such rules...it's either get it packed down to one bag to get in and abandon the rest, or be denied entrance.

The one thing that really chaps me is people who have no idea of how the system works complaining about the homeless...I have a dear friend online who works at a convenience store and she went on a big Facebook rant about homeless buying candy and chips with food stamps when they "obviously" could have bought "more nutritious" things. In my case, no food allowed in the night shelters, period, and where are you going to put sacks of groceries so you won't have them stolen from you during the day? In my case, the quick marts were right around the corner from the shelters. The grocery stores? 2 mile walk one way. The entire system negates trying to do anything more than surviving.

I guess I should pull my thoughts together on this as well and make a lengthy post about it. I felt I managed to slip through every damned crack in the system.

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Response to HamstersFromHell (Reply #84)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:39 PM

88. I hope you do expand upon your thoughts and post the results as a new OP.

Even the best-intentioned people in the world don't seem to understand how the system is rigged, as you say, to negate doing anything more than surviving.

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Response to HamstersFromHell (Reply #84)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:46 PM

89. Thank you for the information.

The shelter in San Antonio is not affiliated with any religious organization, but I'm sure there are "rules" and those rules probably conflict with some of the instances that you are sharing here. That's too bad. You'd think the people in charge of the shelter could assign temporary lockers or something perhaps.

It's really "easy" for someone like myself to believe that we understand the needs of the homeless, but there's no better teacher than to learn from those who have actually been there and done it themselves. I appreciate your insight.

I wish we could do better as a nation.

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Response to HamstersFromHell (Reply #84)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:09 PM

90. I know, people don't think when it comes to the food thing.

You don't have a way to keep it cool. Many shelters have a no food policy, even can food. You have to get what you can. Oh and supermarkets have a thing against packs by the way. Many cases the homeless only have the convenient store to get food at.
You see, the places to get food are spread around and you have to get to them. Many are located in places that are dangerous to sleep in so you end up going across town to eat then back to sleep. Not that easy when you are on foot.

One of the reasons some homeless won't go into shelters is due to having to loss a bag. If you have a page and a messenger bag that carries all the paper work you need, guess what? You have to dump stuff that you need.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #82)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:41 PM

95. There are a lot of reasons. But here are a few.

One reason is how long they have been on their own. Many have been hurt so bad that they can't trust other. Others are scared for what little they have. Some shelters have a one bag policy, that means if you have 2 small bags, you can only take one in with you. This is also the case for food stuff. Many shelters do not allow food to be brought in. You don't want to loss that so they don't go in.

Many have misdemeanor warrants for fly signs and trespassing for sleeping in places like parks past the time they are open. Many Shelters do background checks on those that come for help. They don't want to go to jail so they don't go in.

Then some have small pocket knives that are used for protection and for eating utensils, are afraid that the will get confiscated. Many shelters will tale them away and not give them back, some will take but give them back when you leave. But once bitten, twice shy. They won't go back.

Then we get into those that have pets. Many shelters have rules that pets are not allowed. The homeless have a choice, get rid of the dog or cat, or stay out. They are so close to their pets they will freeze before letting them go. Those animals are the last thing of family and love many have. So the shelter won't their family in, they won't go.

Then we have the religious aspect. There are many that don't want to be made to worship, many have become atheist due to feeling that God hates them. Others, because they are not Christian. They can not bring themselves to convert, to say, for shelter.

Then we enter the group that are VERY anti-social, will not talk, will have nothing to do with anyone or anything. Many times it is due to mental illness. Other times they have just been hurt that bad.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:42 PM

83. The grandkids

Were in a church nativity play, so I went. The church was having a warm sock drive for the homeless.

I thought it was a very worthy project.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:13 PM

85. Churches are a great place

to bring clothing and other needed items. The reason is that many of them regularly distribute meals on certain days at certain times. Mine passes out really great sack lunches every Monday, and at that time coats, shoes and sox, toiletries, etc. are also made available. I think we do a pretty good job, but if it's OK by you, Lady Freedom Returns, I'll forward your post to the person who organizes this work. Word of mouth is always great.

I appreciate the time you took to clue us in and am very, very happy that your own life has taken a turn for the better.

Huge K&R

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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Reply #85)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:45 PM

96. Please do.

That is why I wrote it, to get the word out.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:07 PM

87. best post I have ever seen on DU

thank you

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:24 PM

91. THANK YOU for thee guidance!

Would you mind if I steal it for FB?

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #91)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:32 PM

92. Please do!

I want to get this infomation out and about. people can only help when they know what help is needed.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:08 PM

98. thank you so much for these tips

I'm one of these people that give and get too damn many gifts but I've never "been there" and you clued me in. Best of luck to you.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:57 PM

100. Kick.

For those that are thinking of helping homeless but not sure how.

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