One of the best ways to help a homeless person is to show them love and respect. These are two things that they miss out on day by day. I remember when I used to live in NY and there were more homeless people on the streets & in the subways than anywhere I've ever been before.
One thing I always made a point to do in between auditions was to stop & sit down on the ground with them. They were always so shocked that someone would sit down and talk to them with genuine interest on the dirty street.. I would give them some food or a couple of dollars, but most importantly I would talk to them for 5 or 10 minutes.... Show them that I recognized their value as individuals... Every time I would get up to leave I always made sure to shake their hand. I didn't care if they smelled so bad that it was almost unbearable or if they had feces or dirt all over their hands. I would do it to show them respect. One woman sat almost in tears because nobody had ever shaken her hand since she had been on the streets. It's about sacrificially loving our neighbor and putting them and their needs even before our own. Now that I don't walk everywhere or ride subways to get places, I usually come across homeless people or people asking for food or money at an intersection, when I'm driving. That is why I decided to make care packages to keep conveniently in my truck to give out every time I come across a person in need. I went to the local dollar store & found a few things to put into freezer size Ziploc bags... each care package costing around $3-4. I made 20 packages. 10 for my truck and 10 for my husbands. Here's what I found:
1. A pocket Bible- that way you can share the gospel with them
2. A bottle of water3. A travel size package of moist towelettes. 3 for $1
4. A few different snacks... Look for items with a tong shelf life. Most of the snacks came in a box of 6-8, so I could use them for multiple bags.
5. A hand written Letter- Since I cannot sit down and talk, I wrote hand written letters and placed them in the bags. On these letters I told them that they were loved in Christ & I put different bible verses on them. I also included an invitation to come to my church if they can find the means of getting there, they would be welcomed with open arms.
Some good verses to use are:
Psalm 34:17-18 "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Romans 5:8 God shows His love for us in while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
*This is great for kids too! Let them help you put the bags together and if they are with you in the car they can be the one to hand the bag to the person in need.
*You can also get with your church or small group & make a day out of it. Shop, put the bags together, and divide them up between the members!
REMEMBER: It's not about self-glorification or self empowerment. It's about displaying the Lords love.... All for His glory!