Serving the homeless of Kansas City for over 12 years, Jeff and Brenda have received an education that you can’t find in any book. Learning about life on the streets and how to care for the homeless took years of building trust and relationships with hundreds of homeless they now call friends.
At ScrapsKC we receive a multitude of questions from our customers on the best way to help the homeless. Here are the top 10 things we teach people about serving the homeless.
- Always be safe.
- Serve from your car window. The car serves as a protective barrier between you and a stranger.
- Give items that keep a homeless person safe and healthy. Food, seasonal items (hand warmers/bug wipes) and clothing (underwear/mittens) are most important to daily survival.
- Never give money. They receive plenty of money from other people and it is most often used for purchasing drugs and alcohol.
- Hand out peanut butter crackers instead of granola bars. Most homeless have no teeth or severe dental issues and cannot eat hard food. Peanut butter also provides good energy not sugared energy.
- A roll of toilet paper, good socks and pop-top can of ravioli are good things to offer a homeless person.
- Oranges over bananas and apples. Bananas will smoosh in their backpack and rodents will eat through their backpack in search of the food. Apples are too hard to eat with dental issues.
- Everything is a commodity in the homeless economic system. Be wise in what you give.
- Never enter a homeless camp.
- Wave and smile. It always brightens someone’s day.