Homelessness has many causes and faces.
It’s the father who has lost his job. The single mother who has been hospitalized and cannot pay medical bills and lands on the streets with her children. It’s the mother who flees the domestic violence she and her children have been experiencing and doesn’t know where to go for help.
In Utah, homelessness has some unique causes. There’s Utah’s expensive housing market, the opioid epidemic, a lack of access to affordable mental health care, entry-level jobs that don’t pay a livable wage , and more. There are 2,876 people that will experience homelessness each night in the state of Utah. Of the 2,876 over 83% of them are along the Wasatch Front. Annualized this number reaches 14,000 people.
Do you have a sinking feeling that you want to help the panhandler on the corner or a homeless person on the street but don’t know what to do, or if the person really needs help in the first place? Money is often the worst thing to give an addicted person living on the streets. Instead of giving money, consider a more meaningful way to engage. The Ogden Rescue Mission put together a list of tips.
- Be prepared. Anticipate the opportunity and be ready to help. Always keep a spare bottle of water or some granola bars in the glove compartment, to give away. Better yet, keep a Hygiene Kit handy.
- Don’t give money. You don’t know how a homeless person will use the money you give them. Many times those struggling with addiction will just use the money to spiral further into depression and loneliness. Our advice is to offer an alternative, like clean socks, toilet paper, soap, granola bars, water bottles, a local bus token, or a restaurant gift certificate. For one dollar the Rescue Mission can provide a meal and more to provide true assistance to the person in need.
- Point them to the Ogden Rescue Mission. The Mission has the experience and the know-how to help the homeless.
- Pray. Join us in praying for those on the streets and for those battling addiction. Pray that their physical and emotional needs are met, and their spiritual hunger would be satisfied through faith in Jesus Christ. And please pray for the staff and volunteers at the Ogden Rescue Mission.
This is God’s love and you can be a part of making that change happen by donating today.