What can I do to help those who are homeless?
- Show them kindness and respect
Be loving and respectful. Extending hope with an encouraging word fitly spoken in Jesus' name can make a difference! Always share God's love! Your smile can be a break in the isolation and hopelessness that many of them live with every day. Treating the homeless with courtesy can give them the energy to begin to lift themselves out of a bad situation. It tells them they are not invisible!
- Don't give money to the homeless
Money won't solve their problem. Never give cash. It can be used to buy drugs or alcohol. It may help them avoid facing the root causes of their problems for just one more day. Instead, give them certificates to restaurants. Or better yet, direct them to our Mission or another shelter where they can get help to begin the journey out of hopelessness.
- Pray for them
God loves every homeless person regardless of how they may look or act. He expects us to love them, too. Recognize that their needs are great. They are both physical and spiritual. Prayer can make the difference to bring many of the homeless to Himself! God can use your prayers to help heal their brokenness. If you feel led to pray with them, remember some of the homeless are fearful, angry and paranoid so always respond to them with your own safety needs in mind.
- Be informed and concerned
Be informed: learn as much as you can about the problems that lead to homelessness; substance abuse, breakdown of the family structure, mental illness, illiteracy. Be concerned: indifference helps no one. Remember, not all the homeless are the same. That homeless person you meet might be someone who is mentally ill, an addicted veteran, an abused and battered woman, a runaway child, a con artist, an illiterate unemployable man. And while being concerned, also be discerning. Take precautions for your own safety. Don't take unnecessary chances. Some homeless are fugitives running from the law. Don't feel that you are being uncaring if your personal safety is in question.
- Volunteer your time and talents
The Mission uses a wide variety of volunteers. Some lead worship, others teach Bible studies, many serve meals, paint our facilities, drive vans and serve in many other ways. Get involved and bring your family and friends with you! Volunteer Now.
- Donate material items
Many times the needs of the homeless are met from the supply of donated food, clothing, furniture or household items. You may drop off your items at the Fresno Rescue Mission, 310 G Street, Fresno (559-268-0839) or for more convenience you may also drop off at our Fresno Rescue Mission Thrift Store and Cars, 181 E. Sierra, Fresno – on Sierra between Blackstone and Fresno Street (559) 440-0870.
- Teach others to care
Speak out regarding the plight of the homeless. Let others know. Help others, especially young people, to understand and care about those who are homeless. Whether at home, work or church, the Lord may be calling you to tell others what you "have had ears to hear and eyes to see."
"He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord and He will reward him for what he has done." -Proverbs 19:17
- Contribute financially
Be prepared to financially support those organizations that help meet the needs of the homeless. Some people give $5.00 a week, some give $25.00 to $50.00 a month, while others make one large gift each year. However you are led to participate, please know that we are very grateful for any gift and we will be good stewards of it. Donate Now