November 2, 2007, Newsletter Issue #86: Take an Interest in the People

Tip of the Week

It is easy for homeless people to fall through the cracks. As a result, they spend so much of their time trying to meet their basic, physical needs that their need for friendship, intellectual stimulation, and camaraderie can often fall by the wayside. One of the ways you might be able to help out at a homeless helter is to spend time with the clients, teaching and sharing your hobbies, and finding out about and learning from their interests.

Ask the shelter about planning an evening program such as a board game night, an open mike poetry reading, a musical performance, or a holiday party. These kinds of interactions and events can help reestablish some of the creature comforts of life, and will help build self-esteem. Don't underestimate how helpful it can be to just treat people like people: it will make them more able to face the world without shame, to seek and gain employment, and escape poverty and homelessness.

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