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Monday, July 17

Homeless and Helping Them

Homelessness seeps into just about every medium and large city in the United States. Sadly, many of these individuals have very little to look forward too and those that are in local shelters get the basics, a hot meal, often a place to sleep at night and a few basics.

The National Blessing Bag Program helps beyond the general basics.

One of our missions here at the program is to provide homeless people a way to help get a little extra while they are digging themselves out of poverty and back into society.

Most homeless are there because of circumstance and not all homeless people are bad, a lot are simply down on their luck in life. Sure, some are into a life of drugs or crime, but there honest people out there woven into society on all levels of life and that includes homelessness.

Today, I want to share with you some insights that you can do in order to help the homeless in your community.

Beyond the Basics

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about being homeless in today's rushed, technological world, is being overlooked. It's a human element that we often take for granted each day, just being noticed or acknowledged, most people that are homeless simply get ignored because of a stereotype that they are the bottom of the bottom.

Simple things like eye drops, a toothbrush and toothpaste, band-aids, things that you and I take for granted everyday mean the world to someone who's trying to get back on their feet.

Something as simple as a new pair of socks, an information packet on local shelters or other resources, a snack, a razor to shave with or a toothbrush can make the world of difference for people whom literally have little to nothing because of various circumstances.

Homeless Scammers

Yes, there are those that pretend to be homeless but they panhandle in order to get money, playing on your emotions in order to live a tax free lifestyle.

Now, homelessness and panhandling rarely coincide with each other, most homeless don't stand on the corners asking for money, most will seek help in other directions before panhandling for example.

You can normally tell real homeless people by the way they are dressed, often times they will have everything they own with them, a bag, a cart filled with items and the like too.

We suggest that if you do decide to help people, try to keep a log of names, locations and dates. It will help you to start to weed out those in need and those that are taking advantage of the resources out there.

In our experiences, when handing out our blessing bags, the ones that want them and will use them will be very appreciative of them and continue to use them.

Helping Get Back Into Society 

The overall goal is to get people off the streets and back into society. While our blessing bags do not solve the world problems, they do help encourage people to seek help, provide them with a little extra and many shelters or organizations overlook or can't provide and they give hope to those just trying to get through the day.

Is the director of the Blessing Bag Program which started in 2016. From personally funding the program to becoming a small non-profit, Joshua not only oversee's the making of the bags ,but works with others in the community to make sure they get into the hands of the homeless and needy. Joshua runs the program in his spare time when not working fulltime.

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Roanoke | Virginia