Homelessness in America is in a state of flux. At the time of publication, national homelessness numbers were decreasing while in certain states they were on the rise, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In 2013, homeless shelters weren't being used to capacity as they were a few years ago, says the NAEH; on the other hand, more homeless shelters are available today than in the past. The U.S. is still recuperating from the Great Recession caused by the bursting of the housing bubble in 2007 and some of its citizens need help getting on their feet.
The Internet and your phone book have listings for homeless shelters. Your yellow pages may have them listed under "shelters," "social services" or "human services organizations." HomelessShelterDirectory.org continuously updates its shelter database. Use the contact information provided to find out on what days the shelter accepts donations. Often, you'll need to drop your donation off at the site, though there are other charities, such as the Salvation Army and the Atlanta Union Mission, that will pick up your donation from your house. Ask over the phone or check the shelter's website for clothing items it needs, such as socks, sweaters and underwear. Consider donating other essential items, such as blankets, toothpaste, feminine products, deodorant and bottled water. Your donations do make a difference and will certainly help someone in need.
- National Alliance to End Homelessness: The State of Homelessness in America 2014
- HomelessShelterDirectory: Click the Map to Find Homeless Shelters and Service Organizations
- Donation Town: Donate to the Homeless
- Portland Rescue Mission: How Do You Give Hope to Someone in Desperate Need?
- The State of Working America: The Great Recession