The world that homeless people live in seems miles away from our reality. Our comfy homes are equipped with switches, switches we flip with little strength to cause current to flow and illuminate the rooms as we want. “LET THERE BE LIGHT”, right? We run the water the entire time we brush our teeth, pouring out over two gallons of water on average. By the time the bill comes, we have the money to just send it in and live on with the convenient freedom of running water. Nothing like a good hot shower, right? A world so comfortably suited that complaints gush out of us at the smallest inconvenience. Don’t let a family member stay in the shower too long and the water runs cold while you’re in it. Has that ever happened to you? God forbid we have to eat the things that are in the refrigerator and pantry, long as we have money, we just go buy whatever we want, even when there’s a pantry full of food. Our children are blessed with $300 sneakers, life is good. Our worlds are not touched by the painful realities of the people around us. In fact, oftentimes we may hear or even be guilty of saying, “it’s their fault they’re in that situation.” it is. That could not be more true. I wonder what the world would look like if everybody was getting the consequence of everything that was “their fault”.
Where would we be?
Would you want someone to give you food if you were hungry and had no way of eating? Would you appreciate shoes in the middle of January while walking down Corsicana Avenue barefoot? There she was. No shoes at all. No food. Dingy and gave off a stench, not because she was more deserving of that condition than anyone else, that is just what life was for her right then. She walked by, not expecting help. How do you help anyone in a situation like that? How can you be there for them? What could be done? Well, we compiled a list and while we won’t go into everything, we will share 10 points on what you could do right now to help with the growing homeless population.
- Respect Them as People – The best friend you buy another drink for, knowing they talk bad about you as soon as you turn your back; the coworkers you laugh with about the amazing weekend they had, or maybe the loved one you enjoy meeting up with around family dinners every year, that homeless person deserves the same respect. That same ‘Lazarus’ laid at the palace gate of your everyday life is there to test the reins of your heart. Not just to see if you will give something tangible to them, but to prove whether you respect one person over another because of what they have. respect them as much as every other person you come across in life.
- Volunteer with Homeless Organizations – Find a charity program like M25:35 that has a vision of a world where no one thirst or starves, no one lacks clothing and shelter; this vision has given us the audacity to believe we can be the servants that bring it to pass. Find their service schedule and align yourself with their mission, and become a volunteer.
- Teach About The Critical Homeless – Dallas’s population continues to increase by thousands every week. The metro area population of Dallas-Fort Worth in 2020 was 6,301,000, a 1.61% increase from 2019. The metro area population of Dallas-Fort Worth in 2019 was 6,201,000, a 1.67% increase from 2018. Less than a quarter of that number realize that Dallas has the largest homeless population of any city in Texas. That homeless population has ballooned by more than 200 percent in the past 15 years, and the census takers can barely keep up with the count. Not knowing how many need help is as big of a problem as the fact they need help.
- Teach Your Children to Consider the Poor – It would seem that with the passing of every generation, we would be developing in compassion and growing more considerate of those less fortunate, people that do not have what we have, but that is simply not the case. The only way to combat that and steer the wayward vessel in an alternate direction would be to make the next generation aware of their responsibility to others. We must do good when the opportunity presents itself and we have the ability to. We must care for our fellowmen. Teach the children and make them conscious of the dilemma.
- Give The Poor Jobs – Some of the people that live on the streets are skilled tradesmen. They are strong and fit, able to work. Many did nothing more than failing to respond to heartache after things didn’t turn out as they planned, and they wound up losing everything. They still have their soundness of mind and wit about them. Small business owners that have entry positions that would suit them, give them jobs, and began to mentor them mildly. Coach them if possible and build a trusting relationship with them, hoping they will gain the strength of renewed independence. They not only need help, but they also need hope.
- Help Them Fill Out Applications – I just cannot imagine being in a world where everything was digital, needing emails, phone numbers, and LinkedIn pages for an employer to find you, but having no access to a phone or computer. A world that forces us to set up an account for everything we do, but not being able to read. Not knowing how to respond to the questions on applications with enough “embellishment” to get the job because you know exactly what the employer wants to hear. Some of them have no clue how to answer. They need a good number for a callback number. They don’t know how to read to in-processing form at the health department. Here’s another way we can help
- Fundraising – Choose a charity you feel strongly about and raise money for them. Different organizations have Charity Fundraising Dinners to raise awareness and give the community the chance to give back to the cause collectively. Find out when there wi a fundraising effort in your area, or start one yourself. Be creative, and have fun feeling the joy of helping someone.
- Hold Politicians Accountable – City Hall is in the middle of Downtown Dallas. There is no way those officials go through there every day and do not see this. The most recently revitalized area in Dallas is Trinity Groves, a trendy and diverse foodie mecca, just across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge from Downtown Dallas. Billions of dollars funded this project, but of course great food places are a huge priority over housing people from the elements. Write City Hall. Write the Governor. Call the news channels and ask questions. Stir in the fire until sparks fly.
- GIVE – There is always the never-ending blessing of giving. Just give them something. Give them some money. Give them your jacket because you have three more at the house. (Who cares if it’s your favorite) What is wrong with us as a people? Give to programs that provide food, healthcare resources, funds, and other services to the chronically homeless. Give.
- Be Kind – Think of kindness as someone helping another person out when they are in need or using manners or just being a nice person in general, just being nice. Being thoughtful. Smiling. No matter who they are or how you feel about them you treat them with fairness and gentleness, be kind.