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Over 580,000 people in the US are homeless. Homelessness is a growing issue in communities around the country. Here are several practical solutions you can use to help combat homelessness in your community.

Donate to Local Shelters

Homeless shelters always need new items. Donating to local shelters can help ensure that these facilities can provide local homeless populations with proper support. Some of the most essential items that homeless shelters need include: 

  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Underwear
  • Blankets
  • General hygiene products

Along with donating items, you may choose to donate money. Shelters are always in need of money to help fund their operations. 

Become a Volunteer 

Volunteer at local homeless shelters and charitable organizations. As with money and items, these organizations require volunteers to continue providing services to the homeless.

Shelters may need volunteers to serve meals and perform other tasks that help support homeless people. Some of these volunteer positions may involve interacting with the homeless while others occur behind the scenes. 

For example, shelters may require volunteers to sort clothes, clean beds, or file paperwork. 

Help Fundraise for a Charity

If you cannot directly volunteer or donate, consider helping to raise money for a local charity or homeless shelter. Organizing a fundraising event or using crowd-funding sources, such as GoFundMe, may help you bring in more funds for a local organization.

Offer Professional Services

If you are a contractor or business owner, you may consider offering your services to the homeless or a local homeless organization. 

For example, offering dentistry or legal services can assist homeless people with limited or no resources. Skilled contractors or those with home renovation experience may help by renovating shelters or working with a local Habitat for Humanity. 

Raise Awareness 

Along with fundraising, you can help raise awareness of local charities and shelters. Spread the message to help attract others to the cause. You can spread awareness through social media, at work, or through conversations with friends and family. 

Support the Right Candidates

Decisions that impact homelessness are often made at the local level. Supporting the right candidates for the city council, mayor, and other elected positions may help increase funding for homeless services.