What would you need if you lived on the street?
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.
Pastor Stephanie of the NOHO Home Alliance tells us, “Homelessness is absolutely curable and there are many ways to help.”
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
Comb or Brush
Disposable Razors & Shaving Cream
Feminine Hygiene Products
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Food + Drink
Peanut Butter Crackers
Foil Tuna Packs
Other Dried Fruits
Gum or Mints
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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