How to Help When You Encounter Someone Experiencing Homelessness

July 27, 2022

What You Can Do To Make a Positive Impact

When driving around Raleigh or walking downtown, it’s likely you’ve noticed a person experiencing homelessness. Have you wanted to take action – but don’t – because you don’t know how to help? 

As the affordable housing crisis in Wake County continues and more people are impacted, it’s important to be equipped to interact with these individuals. Here’s how you can help those experiencing homelessness and make a small but real impact. 

Check Your Perspective

Before you interact, remember that every person is created by God and has sacred value. Being unemployed or not having a home doesn’t change that. This should shine through your actions when you encounter someone experiencing homelessness. 

Speak with Respect

Look at the person and speak with encouragement toward smart choices. When you take the time to learn about your homeless neighbor and his or her story and family, you show them that you care. Understanding someone’s story makes it easier for you to know how to help.

Provide an Alternative to Money

Bottled water, packaged food, or clothing like clean socks meet an immediate need. You can also purchase tokens at A Place At The Table, located in downtown Raleigh, and give to someone who is in need of a meal.

Pray for Them

Prayer is powerful. Ask God to bring them peace and guide you in helping them. Tell the individual that you will be praying for them. Pray that they find the motivation to join a recovery program and seek the help they need.

Connect Them to the Mission

Encourage them to get help at Raleigh Rescue Mission or other agencies. Meals, shelter, and vital care can help them get back on their feet. You can also download our Homeless Resource Card referral card to have a few referrals handy.