- The most useful care items for someone living on the streets are listed below. Have additional ideas? You can always expand on our list. See what others have done.
- Print wellness and health tips that were created with homeless individuals in mind. (We will continue to list more printable tips.) Feel free to take screenshots or download them onto your phone if you prefer — All printables are linked below.
- Our research team has created informational reports on homelessness statistics for US cities. Download a sample report. Let us know where you are doing outreach, and we can send you your city’s report so you can be knowledgeable about where and how you can be most helpful.
- Fill out our I want to help and After you go out forms. This allows you to track your excellent work, while also helping us to improve Street Care for homeless people and for volunteers like you.
|Personal Hygiene||Soaps should be fragrance-free, since sensitivities and allergies are very common. Make sure any hand sanitizers do not contain alcohol. Toothpaste and toothbrushes also make practical and useful donation items.|
|Water||Finding potable water can be difficult for individuals experiencing homelessness. Bottled water is widely sold, affordable, and portable, making it a great donation item.|
|Socks/Clothing||These garments are daily essentials through all seasons, and yet we often take them for granted. Socks are especially crucial. They are affordable, easy to find, and overall great items to include.|
|First Aid||Infection prevention and first aid care are essential, especially for people impacted by homelessness. Donate sealed, clean items like bandages, wipes, ointments, and nail care kits to protect those in need. Avoid packing alcohol-based products.|
|Healthy Snacks||Nonperishable and nutritious snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, applesauce, pretzels, and breakfast bars, are best. Foods with high protein are important. Fruit is good. Try to include some items that are easy to chew for individuals without access to dental care. Remember to pack food items separately from any scented sanitary products.|
|Feminine Hygiene||Tampons and pads are necessities, and yet something that many experiencing homelessness struggle to obtain every month. Consider different needs such as heavy, moderate, and light flow.|
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Here are things other creative Street Care volunteers and friends have provided:
- Use a wagon to carry coffee thermoses, cups, sugar and creamer. Serve people coffee and/or tea while connecting in conversation. Great way to foster a longer deeper connection with people on the street.
- Share winter items: hand-warmers, gloves, scarves and hats.
- Combs, Washcloths
- Men and women’s underwear are often difficult for homeless people to find. You can bring a supply in several sizes.
- Bus passes are often needed by people on the streets.
- Consider stores to donate items. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we can work with local stores to have items donated.
- Restaurants may be willing to share leftover food or drink items for distribution. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we can work with local stores to have items donated.
- Organize street cleanups in areas where homeless people live. This is a great environmental solution that enables you to connect with homeless people and gain their trust.