Are you the type of person that sees someone on the street, and thinks "you should be working not begging" Instead of thinking "how did you get here"? No one wants to be homeless I can assure you. However its hard for them to get their life back on track, the longer they have been out on the streets. Did you know that 3 out of every 4 homeless individuals are veterans? These are people that have put their lives at risk to defend us and our country. The least we can do is show them dignity & respect. For those of you thinking "well what about the one in every four that is not a veteran?" They still deserve your respect and compassion just as much. You never know the series of life events, that lead them to this point in their lives. Learning to communicate with the homeless is the first step....Here are the things you should & shouldn't be asking. I like to call them the three helping hands, to encourage others to see that sometimes your own two hands aren't enough! Sometimes you just need the help from one individual, hence the third helping hand!
We can't expect for each of us to solve every problem someone has. However If we can help them at least solve one issue, that's one less thing they have to worry about."Is there something that you need?" is all it takes to see what their immediate needs are. Don't say "what do you want from me?" Possessing a positive attitude when talking those on the streets is a must! Therefore saying something as rude as that, gives off the wrong vibe. Which isn't the type of encounter you want to have, the point is to help them not make their day worse!
Asking them about their well being is one of the first things I always try to address."Are you feeling okay today? Something as simple as that often puts a smile on their face, because you took time from your life to care! Don't ask "whats wrong with you?" Sometimes it not what you say but how you say it, be conscious of your words around them. These are sensitive human beings that don't need to be shun for their living conditions, they simply just need a helping hand!
Asking someone on the streets if their hungry is a silly question, of course they are! Instead of asking " Are you hungry?" Ask them "what would you like me to get you to eat" Think about the last time they had a choice in what they ate. Just this simple gesture shows them that you care about their wants and needs. Perhaps even giving them near by options could help them decide what to ask for. How thoughtful would it be to give them something they desire, I know what some of you are thinking food is food. Your right any food will help, give what you have to give if that's all you can afford. However if you can go the extra mile for someone, it will really warm their hearts with gratitude and joy!