Our efforts to serve the homeless at the Rescue Mission do not begin at our campus, but rather on our weekly outreaches we take to the streets. Throughout the week we drive our fleet of mobile services out to areas of high homeless concentration in Orange County and serve meals to build relationships with the least, the last and the lost.
It often takes time and trust to assist these faces to take the steps into a back-to-work program such as ours. However, these weekly outreaches prove fruitful in serving those that are often forgotten and overlooked by the majority. If you have a heart to help the poor, but are not able to serve with one of our street teams, here are five easy ways you can still do something to help those that are living on the streets.
- The most simple and caring thing to do when you approach someone living on the streets is to acknowledge their presence and ask their names, shake their hands when possible and ask them what they might need.
- Assemble hygiene kits to have readily available in your car. You could pack zip-lock bags with hotel sized soap, shampoo, lotion, razors. toothbrushes, toothpaste, Q-tips and so on.
- In our experience of assisting the homeless on the streets, especially during winter months, tarps and blankets are a critical need for inclement weather.
- Food seems like an obvious need, but experience and discernment has taught us what food is best to provide. Many homeless men and women have poor dental health and lack teeth to chew tough foods. There is also a high need for healthy choices of good nutritional value. Fruit, crackers, granola bars and similar products that are packed in small packages are all helpful.
- Packages of baby wipes are extremely helpful to for cleaning hands and prevent the spreading of too many germs. Wipes also help when showers aren’t readily available.