How do you react when you see a homeless person asking for money? Do you give them your spare change or just ignore them? It can be tough to know how to respond to panhandlers on the street, so Union Rescue Mission has some tips.
You should never actually give someone on the street money. Unfortunately, a lot of homeless people struggle with drug and alcohol addictions, and the money you give them will probably just go to feeding that problem. If a panhandler tells you they're hungry, consider bringing them a sandwich and a drink instead of handing them a couple dollars.
Take precautions when you’re talking to someone on the street. Some criminals live on the street, so always stay in areas where other people can see you and don’t take unnecessary chances. You can be helpful while also making sure you’re safe.
When you interact with a homeless person on the street, it's important to treat them with respect. You don't know their circumstances- they could be an addicted veteran or a battered woman- so always be kind and respectful. Having a friendly conversation with a stranger can give a homeless person a sense of dignity and civility, so don't underestimate the power of a few kind words. "Assure the homeless individual that they were made in the image of God," recommends Union Rescue Mission Director Denny Bender. "Let them know they are loved and cared for by the people in the community as well as their Creator."
While you're talking, encourage them to seek help at Union Rescue Mission. As a member of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, they provide immediate food and shelter to the homeless. Union Rescue Mission even has a long-term rehabilitation program that deals with the root causes of homelessness.
Even if you don't encounter a homeless person on the street, there are ways you can help them. Union Rescue Mission provides food, shelter, clothing, laundry service, and more to homeless men in Wichita, but they don't get any government funding. They are able to serve the community through donations they receive from people, churches and businesses in our area. Consider making a donation to Union Rescue Mission to help the homeless population.
To find out more about Union Rescue Mission and ways you can help the homeless in our community, visit http://www.urmwichita.org/.
Disclosure: This content is provided by or on behalf of a local business. The content is not subject to the editorial policies of the FetchToto newsroom and is not reviewed for accuracy, objectivity or balance.