Sunday, January 17, 2016

Suggestions, please

Before the holidays I read several suggestions for putting together bags for the homeless. I read about buying purses second hand and filling them full of necessary items for homeless women. There were generic suggestions of things to be put in ziplock bags for either men or women. All of these were good ideas. The idea behind it is, you fill whatever receptacle with whatever items you think are good, add a little bit of cash or a gift card and put them in your car to have at the ready so if you are in the situation to have the opportunity to help someone you are prepared.

Well, ok, my problem is that I can't necessarily identify homeless people.  Some are obvious but I am sure many aren't.  However, on our way home in the late afternoon we regularly encounter a handicapped gentleman who is soliciting handouts.  I am usually very skeptical about people who appear to be "begging" -- I know for a fact that some of these people are scammers.  However, this man is missing limbs and I fear he is one of our veterans that needs help.  I can't tell if he is homeless or just needy.

So, I have been thinking about it and have thought about the suggestions that I read about over the holidays and am thinking of putting together a ziplock bag with some things in it but not knowing his situation I don't know what to put in the bag! I don't know if he needs toiletries or food or what.  I was appalled not long ago because the person in the car threw money out he car window at him -- like they didn't actually want to get close to him.  Granted, he doesn't look very clean but I felt it was so demeaning.  He is sitting on the curb with a prosthetic leg and he is missing an arm and it was hard for him to try to catch the money that was blowing around.  I felt so bad for him.

Any suggestions would be welcome because I feel drawn to help them man -- I am sure he isn't scamming anybody but I don't know how to help.  I won't throw money at him -- I believe he deserves better treatment than that -- but I would want to include things that would be useful.

Thoughts?