What to do when a homeless person asks you for money
Homeless people often tend to be literally overlooked, and the stigma of being homeless is very real. When approached by someone asking for money (panhandling)Â ourÂ first suggestion is always to treat people with compassion. Make eye contact, smile. You can say no to a request for money by simply saying â€œI am not able to give money, but I hope you have a great day.â€ Acknowledging homeless people is always the first step. If youâ€™d like to go further, weâ€™ve seen a lot of people keep small bags with snack bars and toiletries on hand so they can give those instead of money.
During the rainy season, if you can afford a few extra umbrellas, thatâ€™s a great option too. At SAY we have small outreach cards with our phone number on it, and people from the community often keep those to give out to homeless youth in the community. Really, any response that is from the heart and compassionate will go a long way towards helping a homeless person not feel so disconnected. Want to pick up some outreach cards? Give our teen shelter a call at 707-546-3432 and ask to pick some upÂ – we have plenty!
The aboveÂ infographic was created byÂ theÂ Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition.