5 Ways to Help a Homeless Neighbor this Holiday Season

1) Stop and say hello - Homelessness is very isolating, and homeless individuals often go days without anyone looking them in the eye or saying hello. Next time you pass a homeless neighbor, stop and take a moment to greet them with a “hello” or “have a nice day”. It goes a long way.

2) Buy a coffee or meal - If you’re on your way to pick up your morning coffee, grab an extra one for a homeless neighbor. On your way to the store? Offer to buy a meal or ask if there’s anything else they need. Often they do not have the luxury of choice when it comes to meals, clothing, or other basic needs.

3) Volunteer - You might have more time than money to support local initiatives, and that’s awesome too. Extra hands are always needed, especially through the holidays. Sign up to serve a meal, prep items to give to those in need, or to help with various volunteer tasks. Check out the volunteer pages of your local human service agencies where most keep up-to-date opportunities to get involved. Start by learning about HandUp’s partners across the US here. Following these organizations on social media helps you stay in touch with immediate needs all year round too.

4) Buy a Street Sheet or Real Change paper - Have you seen people selling these types of newspapers around your city? These are normally run by local homelessness alleviation organizations, and often the articles are written by homeless neighbors. Selling Street Sheets can be a homeless neighbor's main source of income and buying the paper is a great way to support them. Plus you can read about a different perspective of homelessness in your city.

5) Give directly - On HandUp.org, you can give directly to individuals and help them meet their basic needs. You can also give to a neighbor in your community when you see them with HandUp Gift Cards, which also connects them to local services. Meet someone in your community fundraising on HandUp right now, or purchase a pack of gift cards for yourself and for friends to share the spirit of impact.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible gift to help us expand across the US, give here.