How the Community can get Involved

13 07 2009

by: Jackie Go

helping handsFrom the conversations I have had with a wide variety of people from the community, it seems that many members of the community recognize that homelessness is a big problem and that we need to work together in order to solve it. We have talked to some  local business’ and foundations who in our conversations mentioned that they would like to donate a portion of their profits to charity or already have a foundation and are looking for local initiatives or charities to support.  This issue is so close to home and I think that the community support is there, it just needs to be organized so that the community is given the opportunity to help the homeless.

A fundamental part of this idea is community involvement in order to get the homeless person re-integrated into society and help society get to know homeless people as well.  Involving many stakeholders in this program helps dispel the stigmas associated with homelessness and reach our ultimate goal of re-integrating homeless clients into society. This idea involves the local community by involving volunteers to provide simple support services to the client, such as companionship, mentorship, and life skills, such as cooking, cleaning and using the library. We recognize that when a person gets out of homelessness they are starting an entirely new life, and leaving behind their old habits and circle of friends. Volunteers, who can provide companionship and mentorship in the form of simple acts such as going out for coffee, can help the client immensely in getting re-integrated into society and combating loneliness.  We will approach the large groups of volunteers from the Cold Wet Weather Mat (CWWM) Program as well as from the community at large. The community can also be asked to donate other life essentials for the client such as food, clothing and furniture. Members of the community can donate these directly, and local businesses can also be asked for donations. Essentially, the entire community is sponsoring the homeless client, and helping the homelessness problem, one life at a time.




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