What do you do when you see someone holding up a
sign, "Will work for Food?"
Do you give them money or do you pretend you don't
see them? No one likes to be confronted by the
homeless - their needs seem overwhelming - but we
want to treat them fairly and justly.
Here are some simple
guidelines to help you truly help the next homeless
person you meet:
1. Never give cash to a homeless person
Well intended gifts are often used to purchase drugs or alcohol.
If a person is hungry, buy them a sandwich or
2. Talk with the homeless person with respect
Take time to speak in a friendly, respectful manner.
3. Realize the homeless and their problems are not all the same
Remember those who are homeless may be homeless for many reasons,
such as addictions, domestic abuse, poverty, lack of
job skills...the list goes on.
4. Share God's love whenever you can
God would have us share His love and salvation with everyone we
come in contact with each day. Those who are
homeless often feel isolated and lonely. They
need to hear that their shattered lives can be
mended through and in Christ.
5. Pray for the homeless and the Volunteers/Helpers
God can use your prayers to bring many who are broken in heart and
spirit to Himself. As you pray for those who
are homeless pray for the Volunteers/Helpers that
help the homeless. They are on the frontlines
each day reaching out to share the love of God with
men, women, and children in need.
6. Take precautions for your own safety
Always be aware of your surroundings when reaching out to the
homeless. Stay in areas where other people can
see you. Don't take unnecessary chances.
Some men and women living on the streets are
criminals and/or fugitives from the law. Use
7. Encourage the homeless to get help at the local shelters and
The local shelters and the Horizon House provides for men, women,
and children. The homeless can find a hot
meal, safe-shelter, clean clothing, vocational
training, biblical counsel, help finding jobs, help
finding other housing, as well as limited medical
and health care. Most importantly, they will
find a loving, caring staff ready and willing to
help them get back to a more productive life.
8. Support the Local Shelters and the Horizon House
The shelters and the Horizon House is supported entirely by gifts
from individuals, churches, businesses, civic
groups, organizations, foundations, grants, and
bequests. When you give a financial gift to
one of them, you can rest assured that your funds
will be used to help those who are hungry and
homeless, 365 days a year.
When searching the internet for a set of guidelines
to help the homeless, I found that several
organizations have adopted these 8 rules of giving
to the homeless.
I have modified them for the Indianapolis