Homeless on a couch

How to help homeless people

Although it is very easy to help homeless people, it is rare to see somebody taking in a beggar in their house.

It is also very strange to see somebody giving money to kids panhandling.

Have you ever wondered why people generally seem indifferent to that kind of situation? Well, in fact, the lack of concern about this problem has made poverty grow more and more around the world.

Although the world seems to be unmoved to this scourge, there are people who make the difference when it comes to helping people. Those contributors are for the most part popular entertainers, presidents or recognized businessmen like the former multi-millionaire company owner David Rockefeller who gave funds to charity until the end of his days.

You and I can also make the difference by giving to charity because, in the end, every little helps.

There are also many organizations which try to do the utmost they can to solve poverty in the world. They try hard to cover as many countries as possible to provide the homeless with a roof over their heads and food.

Unfortunately, we have to admit that there will always be homeless people begging for money and crumbs on the streets because of the following reasons:

There are too many poor people

Yes, the number of homeless individuals exceeds the number of people willing to help.

We have to allow for the African inhabitants many of which don’t have food, a home and die of malnutrition. The Vatican has so much money about feeding the entire African continent twice for several years.

There are also institutions and governments which have helped the inhabitants from Ethiopia and Niger but it hasn’t been enough since the pregnancy rate increases per year in those places.

We don’t find beggars in Africa; instead, in some countries of the continent, we find famine, malnutrition and people dying off due to evident money mismanagement by their governments.

Another country to consider is Haiti. Haiti is a Caribbean country that receives money from several nations to support itself, though there are still many homeless people because the island is also constantly struck by natural phenomena such as hurricanes and tsunamis.

The reason why Haiti lacks a productive economy is for the scarcity of natural resources. The islanders can’t import almost anything; and the tourism is not as attractive as the Dominican Republic’s, Haiti’s nearest neighbour.

So, many countries with more natural resources and higher GDP have lent a hand to some African countries and Haiti by sending food, goods and money.
In Africa, corruption has devastated nations like Zimbabwe, which once went through super hyperinflation leading the local currency to ahead.

In other words, hyperinflation and corruption are two causes for the population to continue living from hand to mouth and without a home to live in.
It’s sad, but the thirst for political power brings on this kind of problems and much more.

Despite the fact that some countries have helped other nations, it is rare to hear from a country funding housing in another one.
They can support missions, programs, schools and other institutions but when it comes to housing, the financial support seems to be less common.

Yet, some governments have taken the trouble to fund housing in other countries but the resources are hardly ever well-used; instead, they are veered off for other purposes, or rather for other fraudulent actions.

Some homeless individuals refuse to get assisted

Due to many factors, private life issues, some homeless people don’t want to be supported by anyone. Or, we can also find homeless individuals who don’t want to be taken in by a homeowner or shelters.

Sometimes, they let others take in their homes but not for long. Have you ever wondered why? That situation is very common in South American countries, it is mainly because most homeless wanderers have already fallen into a vice that doesn’t let them go back to living a sustainable and productive life.

There are, however, many programs aimed to assist people with drug addiction and alcoholism. It means many of those wandering homeless are in the streets for alcoholic and drug-addiction issues.

Then, how to help homeless men and women with such problems? That is hands-down a difficult question because you can’t force anybody to change their lifestyle, they also have to do their bit to change their ways.

Help should come directly from us, but they have to cooperate by accepting recommendations and specialized treatment.

Personally speaking, I’ve seen many people being rejected while trying to help destitute individuals with fruits and little money.

At times, when you try to help the homeless with food (can be three bananas or two dollars), they don’t receive such things. It does not matter of justifying their actions, but this kind of eventuality is very common in South America.

Example: in Venezuela, giving 10 Bolivares (0.004 dollars) to a destitute person is not rare but, honestly, he/she can do nothing with such amount of money.
The bill with the highest value in Venezuela is 100Bs but you can’t also do or buy anything with that bill, not even a candy because candies cost 200Bs, well, those are the cheapest ones.

Therefore, helping a homeless person with 100Bs is common in Venezuela, yet it’s the bare sign of Venezuelan poverty.

Pending coffee

Pending coffee or ‘café sospeso’ is a new practice in Europe and America that has somehow struck the society.

It is about paying a cup of coffee and leaving it on the table so that a penniless person can drink it. Users might as well pay food in advance, a patty, a wedge of cake, or whatever they want.

At first, the customers started to use this practice in Europe, in countries like Spain, where some restaurant owners took the measure to invite consumers to pay a cup of coffee in advance for the needy.

Apparently, the invitation was welcomed by many users, and they began to pay them at the request of the bistros and café assistants. Actually, some eating places put a notice board with the invitation written so that the customers were aware of it.

The idea has now become known in some American countries such as Costa Rica and Mexico. It is possible that the initiative has spread across those two countries because of the enormous quantity of visitors they receive per year.

Maybe the rumour of a new philanthropic trend was spread by tourists that constantly go to Costa Rica and Mexico.

The idea proposes a good manner of raising mindfulness of the current homelessness issue. Also, it encourages people to act compassionately and think about others’ needs a little more.

The proposal also combats selfishness and indifference since paying a cup of coffee anonymously is something that can definitively make the difference. However, the practice is not feasible in some countries where most people hardly have three meals.

In India, for example, it is possible to practice Café sospeso because the country’s economy has been shifting towards development in the last decade.

In Africa, or rather, in South Africa, the richest country of the continent, people have enough purchasing power to leave a cup of coffee on the table for somebody indigent.

In South America and the Caribbean, despite the inflation rate in some countries, suspended coffee can be applied but preferably in very expensive restaurants.

Implementing suspended coffee in Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, in a modest café is not recommended because the culture is different.

Suspended or pending coffee may become a popular thing in countries like the United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico.

The foreign influence in those nations is so big that the practice is well assimilated by the local inhabitants who may show a willingness to apply this philanthropic practice in the eating places.

Helping online

There are also alternatives for people to kick in some money to charity online. The donor can help by giving money to:

Church institutions

Thousand church institutions receive goods, money, and food for the needy and the homeless. People may directly go to those churches and contribute personally.

In the United States, many homeless immigrants are economically assisted.

These organizations are mindful of the number of immigrants who go into the American territory without a good plan in the head and end up in destitution.
These people are usually helped with one-night accommodation, food and lunch services.

Church institutions usually have a website through which users can donate without so much hassle.


Sites such as Union Rescue Mission and Destinationhomescc are two devoted companies that own a website for visitors to contribute.

Their aim is to end homelessness, in the United States, although only 14% of the American citizens are living in extreme poverty.

You can pitch in money on the companies’ websites from the comfort of your home; all contributions are welcome.

Soup kitchens

One of the benefits of these places dedicated to provide the underprivileged with a lunch service was previously mentioned.

Soup kitchens represent an option for the jobless, the homeless, and mental illness sufferers to have some soup.

In Miami, which is a state chock-full of immigrants from Mexico, Nicaragua, and the Caribbean, it is normal to see people going to soup kitchens for lunch although they only belong to the minority who turn to those places for help. There’s a soup kitchen called Camillus which also provides provisional accommodation for the homeless. These places allow underprivileged visitors with mental problems.

The food served in those sites is mostly financed by American donors.

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