There are an estimated 900 homeless people in Allegheny County. Others have shelter, but not enough money to buy the basic items we want to provide.
Our Mission Outreach team is asking for your help in providing bags of supplies for homeless people or people who are asking for money on the streets. You can make a difference in their lives by participating in this project!
Help by Purchasing Items for the Kits
To make this easy, we have created a registry on AmazonSmile for items needed for our Homeless Care Kits: smile.amazon.com/registries/custom/74275YGW2LQJ/guest-view
Our list carefully considers the specific needs of the recipients. As you purchase items for the kits, please use the following guidelines.
Kit Recommendations / Guidelines:
One gallon plastic bag with zipper
This serves as the container for all kit items. A good quality bag with a zipper closure lasts longer and continues to seal properly, making it a reusable part of the kit.
A hand-written note
This very important component should express love, value and care for the individual. It should include a Bible verse or prayer of blessing. Notes can also mention why you are doing this — perhaps as an expression of your faith, or because you’ve been there yourself, etc.
A printout of local resources
We will create a list of local homeless resources including information about shelters, food, clothing, addiction recovery, help with jobs, etc. to be included.
One pair good quality socks
This is the most asked-for and valued item. A high quality sock offers long-lasting durability and comfort.
A water bottle
Staying hydrated is often difficult when on the streets. A bottle of water can be a significant immediate blessing.
Four or five single-serving snacks like trail mix, nuts, tuna & cracker packs
Small individually-packaged food items that are nutrient-dense, keep for a while, and don’t melt, provide a good source of protein and carbohydrates.
One nail clipper
This simple, handy tool is inexpensive, but is greatly appreciated.
Five large bandages (3″ – 4″ size)
Traveling everywhere by foot often results in blisters. Bandages help to heal blisters, chafed skin, and sores.
One toothbrush and toothpaste
Another appreciated personal hygiene item.
One bottle/tube of sunscreen
Protection from over-exposure to the sun can help to avoid sunburn discomfort.
Five individually-wrapped wet wipes
A small but greatly appreciated luxury.
Help by Assembling Kits
Once you have purchased the items, you can help by assembling the kits (placing the proper items into each bag), and then bringing the completed kits to designated drop-off locations at the church.
There will also be kit-making opportunities including note writing, and assembly of bags from items that have been donated individually (not already in assembled kit form).
Help with Distribution
If you regularly travel to areas where you see people on the street who are asking for help, we suggest that you carry a supply of prepared kits in your car, ready to hand out as needed. You can also contact local charities to figure out the best and most beneficial places to distribute kits.
Most homeless people are “people” just like anyone of us, and pose no threat. However, if you are getting out of your car to approach them, it is preferable to do it with a friend or in a group when handing out care kits. If the people are not actively seeking help, always ask, don’t assume.
Take your time.
Ask their name, and their story. Providing a few minutes of conversation, a smile, genuine eye contact, are wonderful ways to show them that they are important, valued, and loved.
Ask to pray with them.
If they say “no,” that’s okay. Respect their wishes. If they say yes, pray for them, that they would be blessed. You can pray before and after you give the care package. Allow the Spirit to guide you.