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How do you help homeless people?

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Quick Answer

A few ways that individuals can help homeless people are giving them clothing and food, informing them of local shelters and volunteering at homeless shelters. It is also helpful to show them respect.

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Full Answer

One of the most important ways to help the homeless is by understanding what homelessness entails, notes JustGive.org. Every homeless situation is different, as some individuals are in this predicament due to job loss, little to no familial or social support, or after experiencing traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one. Understanding the dynamics of homelessness can help dispel negative assumptions about this critical social phenomenon.

A practical way to help the homeless is by teaming up with local shelters and organizations to find out specific ways to donate time and resources. Many organizations that help the homeless are in need of volunteer support. Offering a cash donation to shelters or homeless persons on the street is another way to help the needy.

People who want to give food donations to the homeless should first check their city's ordinances on food sharing. As of 2014, at least 21 U.S. cities have created laws that restrict individuals and groups from sharing food with the homeless population, notes NPR. Failure to abide by these laws may result in paying a financial penalty.

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