Normally, when people think about the homeless, they think about providing them with food. In my (confessedly limited) experience working with them, I have found that food is not usually their greatest need.
For example, in work that I’ve done with the homeless in Tampa, Florida, the people themselves told us that they had enough food. They told us how, when church groups come, they always bring food.
What do they sometimes need more than food? This video gives a clue.
People that don’t have a home have told me that they usually need things like socks and underwear more than food. Also, basic toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, and deodorant are very popular. This isn’t true for every context, of course, but I think a lesson is to actually dialogue and engage the people you’re trying to serve to find out what their biggest needs are.
So what do you think? What lessons have you learned in serving those that don’t have a home? To leave a comment click here.