Hey everyone, I’m Josh…You may know me from CNA Finance, Modest Money, and several other personal finance blogs around the blogosphere. However, over the past few months, I’ve really changed my focus. Simply put, the community has really taken care of me. I live well, eat well, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for way too many people in our community. So, this year, I’ve decided to focus on helping those in need.

Over the past month, my fiancé and I have started what we view as a movement, called “Under The Bridge.” Our main goal is to change the way we see the homeless community. The bottom line is that while these people may have some past issues, they are human and deserve love and respect.

And here’s what you can do…

There are several things you can do to help make a change for the homeless community; many of which will cost you very little, or nothing at all. Here are a few ways that you can help make a change…

1. Have A Simple Conversation

Could you imagine what homelessness would feel like? I can, believe it or not, I’ve been there (Granted I was too proud to call mom and dad; so, the choice was mine). While hunger and warmth are major issues, one of the things that runs through your mind most is, “I wish I just had someone to talk to”.

In today’s society, it’s become normal to look down on the homeless, ignore them, and treat them like they deserve less respect than animals. In all actuality, these are human beings; most of whom want nothing more than a conversation…someone to ask “How’s your day…” and actually take the time to listen to the response!

2. Provide Food

When you’re homeless, it’s hard to find adequate nutrition. Unfortunately, you have no money, and even worse, if you do pan handle a few bucks, stores don’t want you to come in! It’s amazing how far a warm meal with all the major food groups can go. Believe it or not, it’s possible to provide a nice pick-me-up style meal for under $3 per plate; we do it all the time!

Meals to the homeless

3. Provide Warmth

This winter has been brutal already and it’s expected to get even colder. This is the most dangerous time of year for the homeless. You may be able to provide the blanket, sweater, or even pair of socks that saves a life. Do you have any cloths that don’t fit anymore? Do you have a blanket that you don’t use anymore? How about $7 for a bag of socks? All of these things are a big payday for the homeless community. Fill a bag and drive down the street to find someone to give them to! Also, hand warmers are a bit more expensive, but if you’ve got the money, they go a long way!

Blankets for the homeless

4. Donate A Tarp

Do you have a tarp that you don’t use anymore? For a homeless person, a tarp is almost as useful as duct tape! Tarps can provide shelter from rain, a barrier between your body and the ground, even a bag to carry your things in! If you’ve got an extra, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone that’s homeless, who would be more than willing to take it off of your hands!

5. Spread The Word

Share this post on social media to get there out there. If you have a blog, I’d love to write a post for your blog that spreads the word about this movement. If you’re interested, please contact me at UnderTheBridge@ControlYourCity.com.

See How Easy It Can Be

Helping a member of the homeless community is incredibly easy. More importantly, it’s a humbling and rewarding experience! So, get out there and make a change in your community.

Photo Credit: Blodeuwedd