4 Non-Financial Ways to Help the Homeless

(Guest post by Jenna of Beyond The Bridge, PDX)

I live in Portland, Oregon. The highest homeless population in the U.S. I volunteer with a group of awesome people on mission to serve this community, but I have a secret to tell: I don’t give money to our guests. (That is what we call the homeless we serve)

Personally, I struggle with the belief that, “the homeless are just going to use that money for drugs and alcohol” and I don’t want to be an enabler of those activities. I know, J$ gives money, but I wanted to show a different perspective and opportunity. (Editor’s note: It’s true, I always keep a few dollars on hand, and in my car, so I have some to give out anytime I’m asked. It’s part of my “always say yes” goal because otherwise I pretty much suck at giving back. Though I’m liking #4 below!).

While I don’t give money, I do give:

#1. Meals

I usually have an apple, granola bar or my wallet on me when I’m walking around town. When I come across with someone with a sign, I try and strike up a conversation, offer what is in my bag, or offer to buy a meal. This gives me time to learn more about them, their name, and story and offer some suggestions on where they can get more resources. I remind them that Night Strike (where I serve) and tell them I hope to see them there. (Total cost: $5 max.)

#2. Bus Tickets

Travel can be tricky, when you don’t have ID or cash. Getting to a friend’s to sleep or a doctor’s appointment can be a challenge. I offer to buy tickets right then and there if they seriously need the ticket, they’ll take me up on the offer. If they just want the cash, kindly decline and move on. You offered a solution and that is all you need to do. (Total cost: $5 for a day pass here in Portland.)

#3. Blessing Bags (Also, called hygiene bags)

These are bags with travel size bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb and razor. These blessing bags are a great source of materials to help a homeless person feel dignified. I liken it to the first shower after a week of camping. It just feels SO GOOD to clean up. (Total cost: $3 to create with hotel supplies (free) and toothbrushes and toothpastes in a Ziploc bag.)

#4. Eye Contact and Conversation

This is the most important thing of all. Coming from a place of being completely ignored, for a day or week or longer, just showing the simple act of respect and acknowledgement can change someone’s day. Even when I’m in a rush, I make a point to stop, acknowledge the fact that I see someone, really see him or her, and give them a full response. “Sorry, I don’t have any cash on me.” Or “I don’t have any cash on me, but I do that an apple, would you like it?” (Total cost: free.)

I don’t give money directly to the homeless, but I do give money to the homeless community. I donate 10% of my salary to bpmpdx.org the charity that runs Night Strike, but I’m going above and beyond that and am currently fundraising $27,000 for my 27th birthday to build a mobile medical clinic that would provide additional services to the homeless community here in Portland.

J$ asked this question once on his blog, “Could you be homeless for the day?” How would you want to be treated?  Do you think you would even be acknowledged? I would like to challenge you today: To step outside your comfort zone and into someone else’s life.

  1. The next time someone asks for money, stop and have a conversation with them, offer another solution rather than money.
  2. Serve the homeless community in your neighborhood (or some other group that normally makes you uncomfortable.)
  3. Donate to help build a mobile medical clinic in Portland, Oregon.

Jenna used to be the Community Manager at personal finance site, Adaptu, and is now an Account Executive at a local PR firm. But don’t worry, she’s still brewing beer and keeping on top of her personal finances. When she’s not working or brewing, she’s volunteering with a non-profit that works with the homeless community in Portland and blogs all about it at BeyondtheBridgePDX.org.

[Photo by The Nick Page]

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  1. downunder sugarglider April 4, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    Hey I just want to support people wanting to do something but not knowing where to start? I volunteer with Zonta – an international service organisation. Zonta, along with rotary, Lions, apex, soroptomists etc all support their local homeless shelters and refuges. all our friends give us their hotel toiletries when they travel and we sew bags, add a few things like deodorant and toothpaste and give away over 400 toiletry bags per year here in my city. We also gave 20 sleeping swags to the homeless drop in centre to give to people who sleep rough. Find your local service club and you can easily do non-money contributions safely through them. thanks!

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      I’ve never heard of Zonta, but it sounds like another great organization. Hotel toiletries are awesome. My dad travels a lot and always saves his toiletries for me. I tell him, “Dad – You are speaking my love language. Thanks!”

      Keep doing awesome work, downunder sugarglider!

  2. Sense April 4, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    I agree with and admire Jenna, especially so for #4. Even if I feel like I can’t give anything else, I acknowledge that there is an actual human being talking to me. It could easily be one of my relatives…or me!…if circumstances were just a tiny bit different.

    Jenna is cool.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      I totally agree, Sense. I find it really interesting how most our of guests end up homeless from a string of events, in which the first one was a small thing. It really could be any of us. I know people who have bought houses and then then loose their jobs and end up homeless. It’s not all drugs and alcohol.

    2. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      I agree – Jenna IS cool :)

      1. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 1:40 AM

        Guys, you’re making me blush! You are both awesome!

  3. Dianne @ Skinny Seahorse April 4, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    I once audited a homeless shelter back in my public accounting days. Talking with a few of the homeless while I was there changed my opinion of them forever – before I had thought it was their fault they were homeless. But sadly, it didn’t change my actions other than I make a point to buy groceries for the food pantry at church. These are some great ideas. Especially the blessing bag. Easy and inexpensive. No excuses! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      I love it! No excuses! I’ve found (and this could just be me) that I’m usually the one who’s uncomfortable at first. It’s all in my head and with practice it has been come normal for me. Just practice! No excuses! <3

  4. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 4, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    In colder climates, I used to give out gloves and scarves, too! Those 99 cent stretchy gloves can make a world of difference when you don’t have anything on your hands…

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Oh my gosh! That is awesome. In the winter here in Portland, we give out tons of socks, gloves and beanies. Keep up the good work!

  5. eemusings April 4, 2013 at 6:34 AM

    I love the blessing bag idea. Brilliant.

    I used to take home food from the cafe I worked at, at the end of the day, and often gave some of it away to people on the street on the way to the bus stop.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      That is awesome! Keep it up!

    2. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      A little birdy told me you might be coming to DC sometime soon :) Might have to try and meet up for a beer/coffee!

  6. Sue D April 4, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    I love talking to the clients at the food pantry where I have volunteered at for the last 15 years. They arrive all nervous, not wanting to have to get food at a pantry, which they need and deserve. I travel a lot, my husband works for an airline, I usually take the small soaps etc there. I will make a call and see what our local homeless shelter needs, thanks Jenna for opening up my eyes to another cause.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Awesome! Let me know what the shelter says.

  7. Lance @ Money Life and More April 4, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    We were once approached by a homeless person in NYC and he was asking for money for food. When we offered him actual food he said I don’t want that! He must have no been hungry and had other uses for the money…

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      You are going to get hustlers (and addicts). Can’t let that jade your entire view of the homeless community. That is like saying, “I had a terrible next door neighbor once, that means all my neighbors must be terrible.”

      1. Lance @ Money Life and More April 4, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        I didn’t think I was projecting on the population as a whole… I was just stating one of my experiences. Sorry if I offended you.

        1. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 1:42 AM

          No! That wasn’t what I meant to do at all. I’m so sorry if I did. I just don’t like when one bad apple ruins the whole bunch, ya know?

      2. ArDee May 9, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        Why assume they are a hustler or that their ‘other’ uses for money is not right for them? These people have a 5 second window to get a bit of help, and a asking for money for food is probably what works best without having to explain their whole life to every person they approach. Don’t assume giving a ‘goody bag’ is helping, it just shows a distrust of that person to determine for themselves what they really need.

        1. Jenna May 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

          Hey @ArDee – I don’t assume anyone is lying when they are asking for food (or anything else). I just hear that a lot of people struggle with giving out money. I’m just offering another option of other needs guests might have other than cash. Respect, dignity and a conversation.

  8. Greg@ClubThrifty April 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    When I lived in Chicago, I would always try to say hello. If possible, I would try to give them food. Now, in my small town, we don’t see the homeless on a daily basis. Instead of giving food, we try to give money to the homeless shelter when we can.

  9. maria@moneyprinciple April 4, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Jenna, just wanted to say that I find what you are doing absolutely marvelous. I give money and used to give a lot more (as proportion of my income). But I suppose, giving money is easy; being more thoughtful with what you offer is harder and very worthy. I live in Manchester, UK and with the latest developments in the economy (no development) we have more homeless people as well. During the previous crisis (in the 80s and early 1990s) a friend was telling me how he used to talk to one of the homeless people (on top of giving him money). One day, the guy told my friend that he can rent a room if he has five pound (at the time this was worth more than now) but to get the money he needed an address. My friend gave him five pound and the homeless guy started sorting out his life from there – he got a room, got social security, went on some courses and got a job. We can change the world one person at a time!

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      That is such an awesome story! Small acts of kindness can really change lives. I see it every day. Thanks for sharing!

      1. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM

        Yayyy!!! Def. good story!

  10. John S @ Frugal Rules April 4, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    These are great ideas and I love #3. We have volunteered at a local shelter somewhat often and love being able to do something practical in order to give to them as opposed to just giving money. I think there is a time and place for both forms of giving, especially if you’re able to meet direct needs.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Exactly! Keep up the good work volunteering.

  11. Sheryl April 4, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I had it easy in the homeless department: Florida over winter and I did have a car to sleep in. I never had it as rough as a lot of these people and dear gods the shower/clean prospect? Almost better than eating. Although — again, Florida; if I could get to the beach I could at least rinse the mustiness. I like these ideas.

    1. Sheryl April 4, 2013 at 7:54 AM

      PS that was also 20+ years ago. It has to be different now,

      1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        Thanks for sharing. I always find myself wondering how come guests end up in Portland. It’s cold and rainy 9 months out of the year. I think I would try and move down south where it is warmer. Glad things are going better for you now.

      2. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM

        Thanks for sharing, Sheryl!

  12. Steven J Fromm April 4, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Wow, pretty powerful stuff. This is a very troubling problem and your four pointers creates something to think about. In Philadelphia we have the same problem, but it hard to discern panhandlers from the truly needy in some cases. I never thought about actually switching places with them so this was a very compelling message. Thanks for your experiences in this tough matter of our society.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Let me know how this changes the next time you view a homeless person.

  13. Kurt @ Money Counselor April 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Nice ideas. Maybe I’m a bad guy, but I’m usually hesitant to give cash to someone on the street. The idea of giving them something I’d like to think they’d spend the cash on is appealing.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Not the bad guy at all! I feel the same way. Thus the guest blog post. Hopefully, you can find some other way to lend a hand without giving cash. Let me know how it goes.

  14. Emmy April 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    I love this SO MUCH. Living in a small town right now, it’s honestly not something I think about often. However, I remember when I went to NYC I felt so overwhelmed by my struggle with wanting to help the homeless community. I felt as though everywhere I went there was someone in need and I didn’t know how to help them. When I lived in Chicago, even though I was touched, I wasn’t as overwhelmed because 1) I was used to it (which is sad in a way) and 2) I was part of a community where we would be able to find ways to help. Now, I feel as though I’ve lost that. Reading this helps me to get back on track.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Glad it helped. Maybe there is some other way you can volunteer in your small town. Doesn’t have to be a homeless project to change the world. (Or you could donate to the mobile medical clinic – https://www.egivingsystems.org/37323)

  15. Jose April 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I like the concept of meals, having a few granola bars or something similar available to give out is a wonderful idea. I hate the idea of giving money because deep down inside I know that’s going to be spent on alcohol.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Not all the time, but yes. It is something to consider. Granola bars are way better!

    2. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      You reminded me that once I gave someone a box of chocolate bars after picking one up for like $1.50 :) I was so happy with my deal and then when I saw someone super hungry I felt bad so I took one out for myself (I was hungry too!) and gave him the entire box. His eyes lid up like crazy! Haha…

  16. Jacob@CashCowCouple April 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    These are all great suggestions. My wife and I have done a fair amount of volunteering to help those in need and it’s always rewarding to help someone else. The only part that gets under my skin is if they are ungrateful for a free, warm meal or the like. That’s a low blow…

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Eh, you are going to get jerks in life. (And people just having a bad day.) Homeless or otherwise. People that feel like you owe them something. I just smile and think “I’m so thankful I’m happy.” Also, we have some veterans that have given up a lot for our freedom that end up homeless and that always helps me change my perspective.

  17. Steeb April 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I too always wonder how the cash will be used. I’ve opened my wallet and given the gift card for Tim Hortons (coffee shop) that I had in there — tell them there’s still a couple bucks on it. They can go get some food.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      What a great suggestion! I’ve never thought of that.

  18. Agatha April 4, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    I love #3 and #4. I usually just give the homeless peeps in my area money but would love to be more thoughtful with what I give. Thank you for the suggestions…I think it’s really important to give help to those in our communities who are not as fortunate as we are.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Let me know how it goes! I think it’s awesome you have “peeps”.

  19. Jessica April 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    My 4 year old daughter and put together some blessing boxes (I got reusable plastic totes from the dollar tree) and filled them with toiletries (razor, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.), a small water, granola bar, a mint, a small bible and 4 quarters. I keep them in my car to be available to hand out to people on the corner.
    Well, my very first box I handed out to a man on a corner that I had seen before. He was at a stoplight and looked very dingy and dirty. I rolled my window down and gave him the box and he smiled. The next day I drove through this same intersection and he was standing there again. But this time his face was shaven an he looked cleaner and even a bit happier! I like to think that it was because of a very small act of kindness. Sometimes that is all it takes!

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      That is such an awesome story! Thanks for sharing, Jessica.

    2. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      Awwww so cool!!!! Love that!

  20. Grayson @ Debt Roundup April 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I don’t mind helping out the homeless, but I have had some bad experiences with some when I would give them apples and granola bars. Some of them yelled and threw the food back at me, requesting money. That put a bad taste in my mouth that hasn’t really gone away. I will help out someone on the street that I pass, but I don’t tend to give to those begging by the highway off-ramp.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Ugh! That sucks. I’m so sorry. I definitely wouldn’t take that or donate apples ever again. Ouch!

  21. Barbara Friedberg April 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    I keep bags of crackers and jars of peanut butter in my car. I hand them out to the homeless. Great idea about the hygiene bags, I’m going to try it! I didn’t realize its a big deal to give eye contact when I talk with the homeless.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Yes! Key contact is key. Great idea with the crackers, Barbara.

  22. Financial Black Sheep April 4, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I don’t generally give money to people on the street because I have read too many stories of people making money when they aren’t really homeless. That said, I used to give change or whatever I felt I could give. When all I was using was credit I stopped giving cash or change because I never had any. At the same time, people started asking for my leftovers from restaurants and I gladly said yes. Sometimes I would make sure I had leftovers just for people on the street. :)

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      Ha! I have a left over rule: If I’m walking home from work / lunch meeting and I see someone I have to ask. If I don’t see anyone, I get to keep it. Thanks for sharing your story, Financial Black Sheep.

  23. Melissa April 4, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    We do the “blessing bags” thing – but with a bit of a spin, after talking with homeless in our area to put in what’s really helpful for them. We add a flier for the outreach services in our area, individual handywipes instead of shampoo, some bandaids, a stamped envelope with paper and a pen. There’s also a water bottle and granola bar. And sometimes McD’s bucks or other food gift card. I keep some in my car all the time. We’ve even gotten grants to purchase all the “extras” that you don’t have at home, and we put them together at my church during coffee hour, and anyone who wants to make one and take it with them to pass out can do so! It’s such a great thing to offer, easy, and makes us acknowledge the homeless person – which is so important.

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      That is awesome Melissa!

    2. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      I love the stamped envelope and paper/pencil idea – would have never thought of that!

      1. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 1:45 AM

        Love that idea. We’ve talked about doing a similar thing at Night Strike, helping people find and write to family members. Illiteracy is a huge problem in the homeless community.

  24. Melissa April 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Ole Latte Coffee cart in Portland just started a suspended coffee deal.
    Buy a coffee for you and pay it forward by buying one on suspension. Then someone who may not be able to afford it can get their coffee for free!

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      That is such an awesome program. Thanks for letting me know about it. I also just heard about Happy Cup here in Portland, with Portland Coffee Roasters. Have to check that out too.

  25. Anne @ Unique Gifter April 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Love this!! There aren’t really any homeless folks in my community (there are some that actively choose not to have homes), so it’s definitely something I don’t really think about no longer living in a city.
    That said, there’s lots of people who can use some of these great ideas :-)

    1. Jenna April 4, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      Thanks! Hopefully, you can find some other way to give back to the community you live in (doesn’t have to be homeless issue).

  26. Beth April 4, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I love this! I volunteered once a few years ago at the Oregon Food Bank and felt it really clicked for me. I have been going once a month at least for the last two years. I love giving my time to something so valuable and actually giving time allows you to see and feel such a stronger connection than giving money.

    Especially when financial support is difficult or not an option, so many organizations need your time. Volunteering leads to gratitude, which is really the big secret to happiness :)

    1. J. Money April 4, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      You’re a sweetheart :)

    2. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 1:46 AM

      Beth! That is awesome! It also means you must live in Oregon. Want to come visit Night Strike? ;) Seriously. Come say hi!

      1. Beth April 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        I do! I am a beavertonian…but don’t hold it against me :) I will definitely come check out Night Strike out and say hello, Jenna!

        1. J. Money April 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM

          yayyy!!! online people meeting in the “real world” – I love it!

        2. Jenna April 8, 2013 at 11:22 AM

          Ha! I grew up in Beaverton! Looking forward to meeting you soon.

  27. KK @ Student Debt Survivor April 4, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    I’ve worked with the homeless and formerly homeless in NYC for the past 3 years. I’d strongly encourage giving food or toiletry items and not money. What little amount of money you might give the person isn’t really enough to buy them the things they need, and in most cases (at least in big cities) there are numerous charities and non-profits who provide, food, shelter, clothing etc. If you really want to help the homeless, volunteer at a food pantry, offer formerly homeless people jobs in your businesses, and help them learn a skill that will help them get back on their feet.

    1. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 1:49 AM

      Couldn’t agree more. We always say, “Night Strike can stretch a dollar way better than one guest can.” They might be able to feed themselves, but we can feed a lot more. Thanks for serving. And helping the homeless get jobs is key!

  28. @pfinMario April 4, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    That’s terrific.

    1. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 1:50 AM

      Thanks! I think so too!

  29. Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce April 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Food seems to be the best commodity to give out. At the same time, transportation may result in conflict with police, as many of the homeless use tickets to sleep on public transit. Great thoughts.

    1. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      All our of transportation stations are outside (yeah Portland rain) so we don’t have to worry about that so much. But I guess that is something to consider.

  30. Mike Carlson April 5, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    We can always lend a helping hand to the needy if we really want to. The small gestures we show may mean a whole lot to them.

    1. J. Money April 8, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      That’s def. true. You never know what small act of kindness can do in someone’s life – just like what others do for us!

  31. Shafi April 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    In my opinion, they are all essential ways to help folks in hour of need.

  32. Kylie Ofiu April 8, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    I have had a bit to do with the homeless lately and have been surprised a few of my friends at some point were homeless. I try to give food and love the suspended coffee idea, some places do it for whole meals.
    I’ve always donated to charities and things, but I have to say one of the biggest things for many of the homeless I have met out on the streets was recognition. Someone actually making eye contact with them and talking with them. Most of the homeless I have met or had dealings with were abused and became homeless to escape. So often people view them as junkies or it was their fault, but more often it was a means to escape living in hell.
    Thanks for the tips Jenna

    1. Jenna April 9, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      Thanks, Kylie! (Miss you, chica!)

    2. J. Money April 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Hey girl :) Not to go off subject, but I’m DIGGING your new hair color!! At least the other day when it was purple on Twitter :)

  33. Sam April 9, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    #4 can be frustrating though. When you’r that “down” there are many doors shut to you. When I was homeless if people used the shelter as their mailing address (strongly recommended by shelter staff, they even had change of address cards) doors were shut to them. Job leads wouldn’t respond to someone in a shelter, people would lecture you, Storage places would require 3-6 months worth of rent up front, etc. What saved me was a good freind allowed me to use his address as my mailing address and allowed me to hide the real deal for those 2-3 months until I was able to get my kids & I into more society respectable digs.
    To me in the end, it’s not so much advice as much as “how can you contribute to a posible solution?” I’ve given people rides to work for a month or two while they save up for a car or make pymts to repair their current car, I’ve watched kids while parents go to night classs or work nights to bring in the $, I’ve let people use my # as a number for job searching, I’ve proof read resumes & allowed people to use my printer – little stuff that can really help. Our modern society really makes it hard to build up once you hit a certain point – seems like we’re going back to “tale of two cities” where people are labeled for life if they make one mistake or cross the wrong “rich” person.

    1. Jenna April 9, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      Thanks for sharing your story, Sam. I agree, with you on most of your points. I think your suggestions are great for people who are friends or have established relationships with those who are homeless vs. what I’m suggesting here of starting a conversation and are just starting a relationship with someone who is homeless.

    2. J. Money April 9, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      Wow… hadn’t thought of the mailing address stuff or anything, that’s harsh :( Good for you on paying it forward and helping people too!

  34. Mary Anne @ BillGuard April 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I love the idea of “blessing bags” — I’ve never heard that term before, but I think it’s great. And beyond that, you’re raising $27,000 for the homeless for your 27th birthday?!?! That’s incredibly impressive. I checked out your website and saw that you’re already 8 percent towards your goal, which is fantastic considering that you’re still several months away from the deadline. I’ll be following #27kby27 on Twitter, especially as we get closer to August. Good luck, Jenna!

    1. Jenna April 9, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Thanks! I’m pretty excited about it. Would love to bump that percentage up more.

  35. David Evans November 20, 2018 at 1:22 AM

    A really good proactive message you are putting across with your articles. This is the first time I’ve seen a focus on ‘eye contact and conversation’ in an article on ways to help homeless people. Nice work and for making a really inspiring piece.

    This issue is very close to my heart and I have just opened a business making and selling quality waterproof blessing bags for the homeless.
    If anyone is interested in finding blessing bags packed with the essentials homeless people need please visit

    1. J. Money November 20, 2018 at 5:41 AM

      Love the idea! Thank you for making them!