YspeopleExplore tab

Thoughtful ways to help the homeless over winter


About Maxine

Ys editor-in-chief ... and campaigner of your causes.

If you have a problem that our Ys community should know about, or some heartwarming news that needs to be shared, I'm listening!

You can email me here.


Five constructive ways to help the homeless over winter, without giving money.

Homelessness, it's the social issue that's ripping through Australia like an epidemic, thanks to increasingly unaffordable housing, the tight jobs market, mental illness, domestic violence, substance abuse and many other factors that come into play.

With winter well and truly upon us, I can't imagine how bleak life must feel for those living in their cars, camping in tents or doing it tough on the streets in near-freezing temperatures .

Walk down any busy city street and the evidence is everywhere. But less visible is the growing army of pensioners and families with young children living out of sight in their vehicles.

The realisation that most of us are just a few misfortunes away from being homeless got me thinking this week: with so many people reluctant to hand over money to the homeless for fear of enabling unhealthy behaviours, what else can we do to help?

Here's what I came up with:

1. Make eye . Homeless people often lament that they feel invisible and worthless on the streets. Their feelings of self-esteem are often shot to pieces. So smile and say hello. Stop for a chat. Ask what you can do to help. Maybe even offer a hug.

2. Make an extra lunch to take to work each day. Nutritious, tasty food would be difficult to source, since the cheapest available is often fast food. Prepare an extra meal, take in a flask of soul-warming soup, or even some seasonal fruit or muesli bars.

3.  Sort your wardrobe. We all have wardrobes packed full of unusued winter coats, beanies, jumpers, footwear and bedding. Ask your new friend if they can put any of it to good use.

4. Organise a clothing or food drive at the office. Use the event to raise awareness - and even extra funds - for charities that support the homeless. , ,  and are all active at street level. Ask your favourite charity what foodstuffs and clothing are required, then list them on your donations box.

5.  Create jobs. Need some gardening done at home? Or do you need a driver? How about some general handyman work around the office? Consider giving a homeless person a hand up with an employment opportunity. Think of how they'll benefit from their wages, a sense of self-worth and networking opportunities. But please remember to pay a fair day's pay for a fair day's work!

Banner 2
| Your rating
No ratings yet


Related stories

These shelter pups can now wait for new families in style.

Good news to restore your faith in humanity

With all the negative news, it's time we start focusing on some more positive headlines. Here's your fix for the week.

Business Relationships Kindness Community
Expand
9 months ago
(Kindness)
The Apartheid had its violence.

Simply inspirational

Linda and her husband demonstrated kindness beyond comprehension.

Social Love Kindness Compassion
Expand
12 months ago
(Kindness)
I hope to leap into a kinder, less judgmental 2018.

Let's spread more kindness in 2018

 

In 2018, I'd like to live in a kinder, more compassionate Australia. What do you hope the new year brings for this amazing...

Kindness Community Australia
Expand
About 1 year ago
(Kindness)
Foxglove's first book 'Twenty Reasons to Believe".

Foxglove's first book the best kind of Christmas gift

Now this is giving! All profits from the sale of inspirational book Twenty Reasons To Believe fund women's self-help groups in...

Charity Books Support a Cause Kindness Community
Expand
About 1 year ago
(Kindness)
Home comes from what is within.

Coming home with kindness

Our home begins with what's within us.

Positivity Giving Kindness
Expand
About 1 year ago
(Kindness)
Rob Scheer is proof that love wins!.

Love wins: From abused orphan to protector of many

 

Rob Scheer refused to let abuse, being orphaned or homophobia shake his belief in the healing power of love. Watch his truly...

Family LGBTQI Relationships Kindness Community
Expand
Over 1 year ago
(Kindness)
Have you thought about donating those old blankets to an animal shelter? Picture: iStock.

10 thoughtful ways to brighten someone's day

Because there is never a bad day to pay it forward.

Relationships Kindness Community
Expand
Over 1 year ago
(Kindness)
It’s about listening to the stories of all of us at our best; the stories that weave us together as humans.

Five life lessons from an ageing activist

A 50-year journey of learning to appreciate my gifts and place them where they can make a difference; and of letting go of what...

Relationships Kindness Community
Expand
Over 1 year ago
(Kindness)
Let's reflect on our capacity for compassion in today's society.

Where has all the compassion gone?

We would rather hurt the good people than accept a few bad people. Where has all the compassion gone?

Opinion Kindness Social Issues
Expand
Over 1 year ago
(Kindness)
Going on to find work, thanks to Women For Women In Africa.

Women For Women In Africa making a difference

 

In part two of our Australian Charities Abroad series: Making a change in East Africa's largest slum

Support a Cause Africa Kindness
Expand
Over 1 year ago
(Kindness)

Message board

Derek, 6 months ago:
I am great
George, 6 months ago:
What's up Thomas?
George, 6 months ago:
Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
Thomas, 6 months ago:
Hello
Thomas, 7 months ago:
Great!
DJC, 7 months ago:
Groovy!
George, 7 months ago:
Message board active from June 2018

Have your say!

Your Great Australians

Trending stories
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) Over 1 year ago
You could volunteer to help reintegrate elephants back into their natural environment on your next holiday to Thailand.

Top 5 volunteering adventure holidays

Are you looking for a...

(Kindness) Over 1 year ago
Off the chain.

Strap yourself in, hang on for the ride

Strap yourself in, hang on...

(Pastimes) 9 months ago
Saying thankyou will brighten two people's day.

The power of saying thankyou

There is incredible power...

(Love & Relationships) 9 months ago
Sex is as primal an instinct as eating, writes Subversive Sam.

Sex is like food

Religions and society are...

(Love & Relationships) About 2 years ago
Weekly Poll
Photographic memories
Hizgg0vzzqvwc9xicknk
It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.