Homelessness is an issue plaguing cities and neighborhoods across the country. Children may see a person who is homeless or asking for money and ask you about the situation. Here are some suggestions on how to answer your child’s questions and what you can do to make an impact.
Answer the child’s questions directly, honestly, with empathy and compassion.
Speak about social issues that can cause homelessness
There are many reasons that people become and remain homeless. Here are a few:
Avoid Using Homelessness as an Example
Don’t attempt to use a person who is homeless as an example of what could happen if the child doesn’t stay in school, go to college, get a job or uses drugs.
Your family can help those who are homeless in practical ways. Below are a few ideas to get you started. Have an idea of your own? Please reach out to our volunteer department to let us know how you want to help us Do The Most Good for the homeless in Chicagoland.
Create Hygiene Kits
Many people who are homeless lack basic necessities. Filling large resealable plastic bags with some basics can be helpful. Please contact our volunteer department to get a full list of items needed and where to deliver assembled kits. Here are some ideas for supplies to collect to create hygiene kits:
Host a Supply Drive
Gather items most needed by a person facing homelessness: blankets, warm clothing and outerwear, socks, toiletries, etc. Please contact our volunteer department to get a full list of items needed.
Help Feed the Homeless
Your family can volunteer at a homeless shelter, bringing cheer to individuals and families in need or pack lunches for The Salvation Army Mobile Feeding and Homeless Outreach unit, please contact: METVolunteer@usc.salvationarmy.org.