Nuisance or Neighbor: Innovative Ways to Help the Homeless

homeless

HERE’S HOW A NEW LOCAL APP AIMS TO HELP YOU HELP THE HOMELESS IN DALLAS-FORT WORTH


Everyone has an opinion about the homeless community. Even different departments within the same city may differ on approaches to help or “handle” a particular individual.

A nonprofit may be feeding a person and trying to encourage him to seek services, while a property owner is trying to develop creative methods to keep the same guy from sleeping on his doorstep.

HOMELESS NEED DIGNITY, RESPECT, AND GRACE

To some, he’s a nuisance trashing up the streets, an eyesore that lowers property values, and burdens our city services and patience. To others, he’s a neighbor that needs dignity, respect, and grace.

When I speak to real estate developers, neighborhood associations, the police department and churches, I get varied impassioned responses to an identical problem. “How do we really help this guy?”

Some people answer this question with a bag of clothes, others with a “no trespassing” sign, while even others want to provide him a free apartment to relocate him and his problems out of sight (out of mind). I’m afraid the best answer may be much more costly and require a much more personal response.

Your most valuable asset is time. You can’t buy more of it, and your supply is running out.

Your most valuable asset is time. You can’t buy more of it, and your supply is running out. That homeless guy on the street who could either be a nuisance or neighbor needs something that you can’t put in a bag or hand through your car window. He needs you.

He needs you to acknowledge him, ask his name and consider developing a relationship with him. Take him to lunch once a week and shut your mouth and listen to his story. Someone may have flattered you with the term “brilliant” or “genius,” but in that moment, you are not the expert.

LOST IN A SEA OF CHOICES

Sit. Listen. Feel his pain and show some home-grown compassion.

This is not another app that promises to make your life better. It may be the only app on your phone that helps you help others.

If he is going to consider getting off of the streets, it’s not because a stranger gave him such an original idea. He’s lost in a sea of choices without a paddle and he needs a friend who will listen to him and help him navigate. Can you be that friend? Will you take the time?

We created an app for your phone to help you with this. No, you aren’t qualified to tackle all of his problems, but neither is he. We are created to go through life in a healthy community and he may be in desperate need for someone to take the risk to invest in him.

This is not another app that promises to make your life better. It may be the only app on your phone that helps you help others.

With this simple app, you can see a list of every place serving a free meal today in Dallas. Isn’t it more effective to give directions to food than ignore someone who’s hungry?

HELPS LOCATE NONPROFITS, SHELTERS FOR HOMELESS

You can look up over 250 nonprofits in Dallas based on need and location.

Where is the closest shelter? Food Pantry? Rehab or Clinic? What time do they open and what is their phone number?

Maybe you see a tent in the woods that someone needs to investigate. Our app allows you to report that location so that our Search & Rescue teams can visit that spot and help those individuals.

We created a small printed directory listing the top 50 resources in Dallas. Get it here. 

You can install an app. You can make a homeless friend. It’s not really innovative — or maybe it really is. Either way, we want to help you help others. And if you want to leave something with this new friend, we created a small printed directory listing the top 50 resources in Dallas. Order a stack of these from our website to give to your new friends.

Maybe the biggest nuisance outside your office could be the greatest neighbor that you’ve never met. How revolutionary would it be to get to know him by name and offer to really help?

By the way, please don’t give him cash which often enables a destructive lifestyle. It’s better to use our app and printed directory to point him to healthy options.

If you want more information about this, please visit our website at ourcalling.org

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