5 ways to help the homeless this winter

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – We’re all familiar with Michigan winters… but what if you didn’t have a warm home to escape to? Here are 5 ways to help the homeless in the cold.

1. Do something

If you see someone living outside, let them know you care and encourage them to seek shelter at a local Mission. Call GRPD (or your local police department) to help with transportation 616-456-3400.

2.  Demonstrate compassion

When it’s below freezing outside, it’s not the time to make assumptions about how someone ended up homeless. It’s time to make sure no one dies on the streets. Show love, compassion and empathy. See your neighbor, brother or sister in them.

3.  Know your resources

There are nine different Heartside Warming Centers to make sure everyone has a place to stay warm this winter. Mel Trotter also has nurses on staff to care for people who are severely intoxicated.

4. Instead of giving spare change, invest in life-change

Giving money to someone standing on a street corner is kind. It will not help end their poverty. Investing in organizations that walk alongside people to address their barriers to gaining sustainable housing and employment is the best way to ensure someone is helped.

5. Volunteer

Turn your passion into action. Mentor someone who is struggling with homelessness, host a bible study or a pillow and blanket drive with your church or business. Whatever your talents are, they can be used to help end homelessness.