Have you recently considered reaching out to the poor but have no idea where to start? The following are a few ideas on how to begin: Cup of cold water – Whether you live in a warm or cold climate water is always a necessity. You can keep a 6, 12 or 24 pack of bottled water in your car and when you see a homeless individual you can simply ask: Would you like a bottle of water? Most will be very appreciative and receive your offering.
Since most homeless people are on the move they can always use snacks to provide them with nutrition and energy. Just like water you can keep snack packs handy for them.
If the temps are dipping gather blankets from your closet and ask friends and family to donate – most will be overjoyed to give.
Where they hang out: You can usually find them in parks or near local stores and restaurants. They gather where people are especially near restaurants where people throw out their leftover food. There are times when we have leftovers and make it a point to look for them. Most are gracious when you offer your meal.
If you purpose to look for them you’ll find them. One of the most common ways to identify homeless individuals is many of them carry backpacks. You can also tell by their shoes which are generally very worn due to constant walking. If you’d like to give them good walking shoes, you can purchase them at 2nd hand stores for a fraction of the cost. We’ve found shoes that are still in very good condition.
If you attend a church and they do not have a homeless ministry look for likeminded people within your church who have the same heart and form a group that are willing to work together in planning a strategy of feeding and clothing the poor and needy population in your community. If you don’t attend a church but would still like to reach out to the homeless community look for friends, neighbors or co-workers who share your vision. I would be more than happy to help and give you additional tips on how to get started and make it a success as we have been feeding and clothing the homeless in our community every Saturday for over 2 years.
These are of course just a few ideas on how to get started. I encourage you to start small, don’t overwhelm yourself and when you’re ready the Lord will lead you on how to reach more in your community. Jesus said “If you’ve done it to the least of these – you’ve done it to me.'”