7 Ways of Helping – Ways of Helping the Homeless – 2 Minute Video
- Directly get to know people who are experiencing homelessness in your community and offer support by saying hello, introduce yourself and learn each others’ names
- Offer a basic need item such as clothes (i.e. socks, hat, gloves, sweatshirt) directly to a person who lacks access to these items
- Identify helpful community resources such as food pantries, meal programs, and shelters, and share this information with people without homes
- Volunteer your time at a community meal program, food pantry, or shelter, etc.
- Inquire with your local faith organizations and city/town officials as to what is currently being done to address homelessness and offer to assist by donating time, money, or helping to organize a fundraiser that is targeted toward a specific goal (e.g. Rental Assistance)
- Donate money or basic need items to non-profit and faith based organizations whose mission is to help people without homes. Don’t be afraid to try and target your donation toward a specific worthy goal such as providing rental assistance or supporting transitions to housing by paying for moving costs or needed household items, etc.
- Get politically involved, while educating yourself regarding current homeless policy on a local, state, and federal level
10 Guidelines for Outreach Counselors (Pretreatment Perspective)
- Meet clients where they are at (literally via outreach and figuratively via stages of engagement)!
- The relationship is most important – Promote trust and respect autonomy!
- Develop a common language of shared words, ideas and values ~
- Be goal centered – Join the person in framing out goals that resonate well in his or her world.
- Mutually define or characterize particular difficulties to achieving goals and jointly develop strategies or plans ~
- Carefully Support transitions to new ideas, relationships (stages of engagement), environments (desensitization), resources, and treatment (bridge client language to treatment language).
- Promote Safety via Harm Reduction strategies and Crisis Intervention techniques
- Utilize crisis as an opportunity to promote positive change!
- Respect the process of change – understand its stages and relevant interventions.
- Understand the person’s narrative and integrate a process of “meaning making” with movement toward positive change!
By Jay S. Levy, MSW, LICSW