Items a Homeless Person Could Use During the Holidays

If you’ve ever been approached by a homeless man or woman, you may have felt uncomfortable about how to respond when asked for money. We recommend anticipating these opportunities. Make some care kits in advance to keep in your vehicle. […]

If you’ve ever been approached by a homeless man or woman, you may have felt uncomfortable about how to respond when asked for money. We recommend anticipating these opportunities. Make some care kits in advance to keep in your vehicle. These can be a good alternative for situations when giving money isn’t the best option.

The following items can be placed in quart- or gallon-size Zip-Lock bags.

1. Socks- Homeless men and women spend a lot of time on their feet. A fresh pair of clean, dry socks can feel like heaven on tired, soggy feet. Throw in some Band-Aids to help ease the pain of blisters.

2. Reusable Water Bottle- Water brings relief, especially in hot weather. But instead of bottled water, consider a reusable bottle as an eco-friendly option.

3. Lotion- Lotion and lip balm are often welcome items. Anti-bacterial lotions can help when soap and water aren’t available for washing hands.

4. Soap / Shampoo- Save the small unopened soap bars and shampoo bottles from your hotel visits. Their compact travel size is convenient and light weight. Larger soap bars are great too. But if you’re packing soap in a care kit, be aware that its scent can be absorbed by packaged crackers, making for a less-than-tasty snack.

5. Toothpaste / Toothbrush

6. Towel / Washcloth- Showers aren’t easy to come by for homeless men and women. A towel and washcloth are helpful for washing as best they can in a restroom.

7. Comb / Brush / Razor- Contrary to stereotypes, most homeless men and women prefer to stay clean and well-groomed.

8. Snacks- Throw in some packets of nuts, crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, breakfast bars, instant noodles or other light-weight, quick snacks.

9. Resource Guide- St. Louis has a variety of services available to homeless men and women that they may not know about. You can request of a list of resources in St. Louis to hand out. If you’re in another city, do some research to see if a similar list is available.

10. Encouragement- All the items above are helpful, but the most meaningful part of a care kit is the opportunity for a conversation and friendship. Your smile and offer of help could be the encouragement a homeless man or women needs to make it through another day.

11. Sleeping Bags and Blankets- A Sleeping Bag is much easier to roll up to carry from place to place, and keep longer than a blanket. However, blankets are always welcome at NLEC as we distribute over one thousand blankets every winter throughout the fall and cold winter!

12. Metro Bus Passes- Bus Passes are needed to give to individuals for job search and interviews, medical appointments as well as other important appointments as they rebuild their life out of homelessness.

13. Shelter- Welcome the homeless into your church gym or fellowship hall or sanctuary and provide a warm place to sleep on a cold night.

14. Long Term Housing Assistance- Adopting a family and assisting them with housing for one year as they search for work and regain their independence.

15. Prescription Assistance- Help someone receive their life saving medicine by donating to NLEC’s Prescription Assistance Program today!

16. Stranded Travelers Assistance- Help a stranded traveler get home to their family by donating to NLEC’s Travelers Assistance Program.