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I want to help the homeless. How to do it right?

For someone with a roof over his head, family and work it is difficult to imagine the reality in which the homeless lives. These people do not have the most ordinary things: food, medicine, work, the ability to wash and be in a warm room. EtCetera learned how to help the homeless and what not to do.

HOW TO START A CONVERSATION? If you want to help a person from the streets, you need to talk to him. Fyodor Gerasimov, the founder of the service that helps the homeless community “New Life”, told EtCetera that it is difficult to talk to a homeless person by yourself the first time. Some homeless people do not want to communicate and treat all people with suspicion.

Starting a conversation is better with a question of whether a person needs help. Then you can ask: would he like to go to a local shelter or get other support?

WHAT CAN BE DONE? Any homeless person always needs food and drinking water. If you have a desire to help a particular person, then you can buy bread, hot tea, a package of kefir or other products for him, which can be eaten right away without having to cook.

According to Olga Volga, a volunteer at the “Help the Homeless” Odessa Public Initiative, almost all homeless people need medicines: painkillers and wound-healing drugs, as well as Corvalol.

Fyodor GERASIMOV, founder of the New Life Mission:

Every homeless person has purulent wounds, and almost all of them suffer from colds.

You can also offer hygiene products to the homeless: soap, shampoo, razor, intimate hygiene items.

WHAT NOT TO GIVE? Fedor Gerasimov recommends not to give people money living in the street. According to him, in 90% of cases they will use the money to buy alcohol. Doing so you only harm the person - alcohol will give him a temporary sensation of heat, but in fact he will freeze, not noticing it.

Some people ask for a ticket to go home. In such cases, you can offer to buy this ticket, if you can afford it. But most often a ticket is just an excuse to ask for money.

Fyodor GERASIMOV, founder of the New Life service:

Giving clothes to the homeless is not worth it. Unfortunately, they do not use it, and in most cases sell it at local flea markets. I know from experience that such people wear the same things until they fall apart. The exception is shoes: in the cold season, the homeless will take advantage of it.

If a homeless person really needs clothes, he can get them in special aid centers. As a rule, people living on the street know about them.

Author: Екатерина Вовк

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