Over half a million people go homeless in a single night.

whitehouse.gov

What would you need if you lived on the street?

Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has limited resources, limited space and pretty much has to carry everything they own with them throughout the day. Here are some tips and things to consider when assembling care packages and blessing bags for people in need.

Homeless Care Package Tips

Use a quart size Ziploc style plastic bag with travel size and single serving items.

In the spirit of giving, we like to give as much as we can, but keep in mind that a person without a home or a car has very little space to store items. Think of a care package as short term use gift. Full size shampoo bottles would be more of a burden than a blessing.

Consider the different needs of both men and women.

Feminine hygiene products for women and disposable razors for men are a couple items that would be thoughtful to include in gender specific care packages.

Non-perishable food items that are easy to eat.

Food items should have a long shelf life and not easily melt. If you’re including applesauce or foil packaged tuna, a plastic utensil should be included. Also, a lack of access to regular dental care should be considered. Stay away from foods that require strong teeth like nuts and hard granola bars.

Their pets need a little help too

Make a few separate bags for their pets. Small bag of treats or kibble and single serving size pet food will help keep their furry companions healthy and happy.

Keep a bunch in your car

This way you can readily offer them when you encounter someone in need. Include an address for a local outreach center that provides hot meals, showers, a place to charge their phones and other services that could help them get back on their feet.

What to Avoid

Soap – Many of the places that offer showers will also provide it

Hand Sanitizer & Mouthwash – Stay away from items with an alcohol content as it could be a problem for someone who is a potential addict.

Large Items – Because they would be difficult to carry and store.

Clothing – Many shelters provide decent used clothing and it’s also hard to judge the sizes you would need to purchase.

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Gail Pelote’s journey from class to the creation of the Helping Hand Ministry is a lesson in listening to your heart, taking action and opening up to compassion.

What to Include in a Homeless Care Package

Personal Care

Comb or Brush
Hand lotion
Lip balm
Nail clippers
Bandages
Disposable Razors & Shaving Cream
Feminine Hygiene Products
Wet Wipes
Tissues
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Deodorant
Sunscreen

Socks

Food + Drink

Breakfast Bars
Protein Bars
Applesauce
Peanut Butter Crackers
Cheese Crackers
Foil Tuna Packs
Raisins
Other Dried Fruits
Plastic Utensils
Bottled water
Gum or Mints
Chewable Multivitamins

 

 

don’t forget to offer

A smile, eye contact, a kind note and information on local resources or an outreach center that provides hot meals, showers, a place to charge their phones and other services that could help them get back on their feet.

Homeless Care Package Checklist

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