As the cost-of-living skyrockets, more and more people are finding themselves closer to homelessness. Despite this, there’s still such a stigma surrounding homelessness, and rough sleepers are some of the most poorly treated members of society. We’re now approaching winter, meaning that not only will people living on the streets be without comfort and shelter, but they’ll be without warmth, too. Hundreds of rough sleepers fall victim to hypothermia on an annual basis, and we should all be doing what we can to help the homeless as the number of rough sleepers increases with the cost-of-living.
Donate to a Local Charity
One of the easiest ways to help the homeless is by donating to a local homeless charity. These organizations will ensure that your money goes towards feeding the homeless, keeping them warm, and helping them to find better situations. In addition to making donations, you might also volunteer your time. This time can be used to distribute food, warmth packages, and helping the operation of local shelters.
Provide a Hot Beverage
A hot tea or coffee in the morning is something that many of us see as part of our daily routine, which leads to us taking such a luxury for granted. Not only this, but most of us are able to enjoy our morning hot beverage in the comfort of our heated homes or offices, after emerging from our comfortable beds and our hot showers. A cup of tea or coffee will cost you but a few pennies, but it could make a homeless person’s day and keep them warm on a wintry day.
Treat Rough Sleepers How You’d Wish to be Treated
It’s safe to say that plenty of us are guilty of ignoring the rough sleepers that we pass on the street; however, we all know that this is no way to treat someone. If we found ourselves living on the streets, we can say with certainty that we wouldn’t appreciate being treated as though we weren’t there. Even if you have nothing to give a rough sleeper, simply saying hello and having a friendly chat is sure to brighten up their day.
Help Out at Soup Kitchens
Soup kitchens are essential for homeless people, especially during the winter months. Whether you donate food, money, or even your time to a soup kitchen, you’re sure to make a difference to someone’s day. Even if they have no access to any other food that day, they have been provided with one hot meal, a bit of shelter, and even some company on an otherwise lonely day.
Donate Bedding and Warm Clothing
So many rough sleepers are forced to go without warm clothing and bedding during the winter months, which only contributes to the likelihood of them getting hypothermia. Coats, jackets, socks, scarves, and hats can all make someone’s living experience more comfortable, in addition to blankets, duvets, and pillows. Whether you give these items directly to a rough sleeper or donate to a homeless charity, they’re sure to make a difference to the life of someone in need.
How to Help a Rough Sleeper in Danger
In the winter especially, rough sleepers are particularly vulnerable to a multitude of dangers. The biggest killer of homeless people is the cold weather, so if you encounter a rough sleeper suffering from the effects of winter, be sure to contact your local authority or a homeless charity. By notifying the necessary people, homeless people can be referred to the right agencies, and this small action of yours could contribute to a life being saved. It’s everyone’s duty to protect the vulnerable.