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Fight Homelessness

You and your family can make an impact against homelessness.

Talk About Homelessness with Your Children

Homelessness is an issue plaguing cities and neighborhoods across the country. Children may see a person who is facing homelessness 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.

  • When you speak about the person you see, use person-centered phrases such as “the man who is homeless” rather than “the homeless.” This emphasizes the person instead of the situation.
  • Answer the child’s questions directly. Be short and concise. Don’t elaborate if it is not needed.
  • Homelessness is a situation, and means that a person has no place to sleep, to eat, to shower and keep clean, or to keep their belongings

Speak about social issues that can cause homelessness
There are many reasons that people become and remain homeless. Here are a few:

  • A person has no money to maintain a home – a home costs money.
  • A person may not be connected to family/friends to help them.
  • A person may have a mental illness. A mental illness is when a person’s brain is not working the way it is supposed to.
  • A person may not have money to maintain a home because they lost a job or got really sick and couldn’t pay their medical bills.

Avoid Using Homelessness as an Example
Don’t attempt to use a person who is facing homelessness as an example of what could happen if the child doesn’t stay in school, go to college, get a job or uses drugs.


How Your Family Can Take Action in Chicagoland, northern Illinois and Northwest indiana

Your family can help those who are facing homelessness 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, northern Illinois, and northwest Indiana

Create Hygiene Kits
Many people who are facing homelessness lack basic necessities. Filling large resealable plastic bags with some basics can be helpful. Please view or download our flyer to get a list of items needed and where to deliver assembled kits in the Chicagoland area.

Below are some ideas for supplies to collect and create hygiene kits for the mobile outreach unit. Contact metvolunteer@usc.salvationarmy.org to coordinate kits for the mobile outreach unit:

  • Nonperishable snack items (granola bars, dried fruit snacks, nuts), water
  • Hats, scarves, gloves, warm clothing, socks, undergarments
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste, unscented lotion, soap, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, brush/comb, female hygiene products
  • Handi-wipes, hand sanitizer, basic first aid kit, nail care kit
  • Notes of encouragement, children’s drawings, books, Homeless Kit Cards

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.