We are all humans and as a species, it’s our responsibility to look out for each other. It just makes the world better, there’s no negative.

Dear homeless person,

Your life is tough. Yet you are still here and that says a lot about your persistance and courage. People in your community have shown me kindness that others rarely did, and for that I will forever be grateful. You may feel forgotten but I want you to know that we see you. And I believe in you. Your story deserves to be told, for which you will have to speak and be heard. It is time for you to take control of your life and to set yourself apart from those that use your situation as a disguise to make easy money.

We want to help you and there are organizations out there waiting to do just that. If you are not sure about where to start, just walk into a few places and take that first step. Information can be found easily now, search for it, and learn. You can spend some days with full stomachs without spending more than a $1 or stealing, if you search in the right places. You don’t have to be picking between food and any other necessary need. You can save! Do not be picky, make the sacrifices to get where you want to be. It will all be worth it. You have a certain freedom that not many have, use it. Make your life worth living.

Dear individual of society,

Living in downtown, I’ve seen people dress and act homeless to make easy money. It’s a business in itself and you might have witnessed this yourself when someone rejected food or a lower amount of money than what they were asking. Be careful and don’t be hasty in giving.

There are those that do not want to helped just yet, know that it’s their right to choose that. There’s nothing you can do but give them the dignity to have that decision. However, you have great intentions and there are those that deserve that care. Have a conversation with them, use your gut instincts, and try to help them in the way that they need. Point them towards sustainable answers, such as shelters, mental health and rehab centers, or someone who is willing to hire. Better yet, go to these shelters where the ones who want help have already taken the first step. See what they need, educate those that you can. You don’t have to have a lot to give.

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