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People experiencing homelessness

Make a Difference: How You can Help the Homeless This Winter 

November 5, 2019

As we move through autumn in New England, it’s easy to enjoy the refreshingly crisp temperatures, and the often breathtaking scenery. Right around the corner, though, winter is lurking. The cold weather season is, unsurprisingly, particularly brutal on the homeless population. 

The good news is, there are ways you can help the less fortunate as the temperature begins to drop. From donations to volunteering, here are the most effective ways in which you can help the homeless this winter.

Homeless Man Sitting

Donating Winter Clothes 

Clothing donations are happily accepted by homeless shelters during every season. In the winter, though, these donations can be uniquely beneficial. 

The most impactful pieces of clothing to donate for the cold weather months are typically winter coats. Donating your heavier jackets can go a long way towards keeping the homeless population suitably warm, and can have a massive impact when it comes to helping people make it through a difficult time of year. 

Other clothes you may want to  consider donating are: gloves, boots, baby clothes, and hats. Taking a few minutes out of your day to donate winter clothes may not seem like much to you, but it could mean everything to someone, somewhere, in need.

Donated Clothes

 

Contact Emergency Homeless Services (When Necessary)

While communities and homeless shelters do all they can to keep the homeless population safe in the winter time, tragedies still can, and will, strike. 

Being mindful of a homeless individual who may seem to be struggling in the cold can, quite literally, save a life. Hypothermia is a genuine concern for those on the streets in temperatures that range from cold to freezing. 

If you think you see someone slipping into hypothermia, or even if you see someone who you think needs to be sheltered, call 911, or reach out to local homeless shelters in your immediate area.

 

Volunteer Your Time 

Volunteering at LifeBridge Homeless Shelter

Winter shelters across the state are seeking volunteers as a result of steady population increases in shelters from November through March. 

Typical volunteer responsibilities consist of check-ins and check-outs, serving meals, and set-up duties.

Volunteering your free time is more impactful than you realize. Volunteers lend a hand to the homeless population when they need it most, and can make a size-able impact on the culture, humanity, and attitude inside a shelter. 

 

Be the Change

It’s an uncomfortable reality to face,  but roughly 20,000 people are believed to be homeless in Massachusetts according to the United States Department of Housing.

While it may take time to solve the issue all together, it’s the small things that we as a community can do to help those in need, and to help them now

Whatever you can do to help the homeless population this winter will make a difference, so please, don’t wait to make an impact.