Homelessness is complex
Homelessness is a complex issue. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is because the cause of homelessness is different for different people.
For some individuals, homelessness is mainly the result of uncontrollable circumstances. The perfect storm of financial troubles can leave anyone reeling, and it can take years to recover from. These people may simply need financial help.
For others, homelessness is the result of trauma or abuse. A shocking event can render someone incapable of taking care of themselves. If that individual doesn’t have friends or family to help them through the healing process, they may end up alone on the streets. These people often need counseling, and they need to be a part of a healthy community. They may also find relief by having an animal – a faithful friend and comforter.
An addiction to drugs or alcohol may be the root of homelessness for some. When addictions get out of control, that person may spend any money they have to feed the addiction rather than get themselves back on their feet. These people may need medical intervention or counseling.
Still for others, mental illness factors into play. Those who struggle with mental illness may not be able to hold down a job, and they may not think clearly enough to take care of their own basic needs. These people may need psychiatric help.
Finally, some individuals simply choose a lifestyle of homelessness. Perhaps they prefer a nomadic lifestyle, or they are willing to sleep outside if it means escaping a 9-5 job. These people need help from time-to-time too. They may need shelter and a warm meal on a cold night.
Giving “spare change” isn’t helpful
Giving spare change is a beautiful gesture, and it shows a homeless person that they are seen and valued. This can be important since many homeless people are trapped in a vicious cycle of shame that prevents them from rising out of their circumstances.
That being said, giving money directly to a homeless person isn’t always helpful. Although one should never assume how a homeless person will use money, it is good to be aware that many homeless people are struggling mentally or emotionally. They may not be equipped to make sound financial decisions. Some (but definitely not all!) are driven by crippling addictions, and the money they receive may go towards drugs and alcohol.
What should you do instead?
If you encounter a homeless individual and would like to help them directly, we recommend buying a meal or providing clothing and other personal care necessities. This will address direct needs rather than give someone the option to spend money in a detrimental way.
If you would like to help on a larger scale, there are some incredible organizations that are equipped to combat homelessness in an educated and effective way! Because homelessness is such a nuanced issue, we believe it is best to empower organizations with your gifts rather than give directly to homeless individuals.
Types of resources that help fight homelessness
There are different types of organizations that combat homelessness in different ways. All play a necessary role in building a path to prosperity for individuals stuck in homelessness. At Alliance foundation, we seek partnerships, or alliances, in multiple arenas so we can support a holistic approach to the solution.
Organizations that provide resources for homeless individuals may look like:
- Food banks
- Homeless shelters
- Counseling and emotional support (support animals)
- Addiction Therapy
- Housing help
- Meal and care packages
What Alliance Foundation does
- At the Alliance Foundation, we are passionate about helping individuals build a Path to Prosperity through our programs focused on food, shelter, and emotional support.
- Our vision is to see every individual in our community reach their full potential and lead prosperous lives.
- We will achieve this by providing access to resources and support that meet basic needs and promote wellness and self-sufficiency. We are committed to being a catalyst for positive change in our community, one life at a time.
What we do
- “Food & care packages” given to those in need
- We seek to expand our direct programs to help individuals in need cover specific expenses related to food, shelter & emotional support
- Housing expenses such as rent, utilities, & necessary repairs
- Pet-related expenses such as veterinarian bills and food. We don’t want anyone to give up their best friend because of financial hardship.
- Building ‘Alliances’ with volunteers, donors, businesses, or other community organizations & non-profits that share our vision and mission.
- SAFE House - SAFE House is a wonderful organization focused on helping individuals affected by domestic violence.
- USS Windrunner - The USS Windrunner looks to be an example of humanitarian works in the Vegas Valley by volunteering as well as performing community service.
If you desire to help the homeless, please consider a tax deductible gift to Alliance Foundation!
Your generous donations help fund our programs that provide Shelter, Food and Emotional Support.
With your help, we can create truly effective solutions to homelessness. We can’t do it alone – join us in our mission today!