Homelessness Solutions: Connecting Givers in our Communities with the Homeless (Part 2 – Questions to Address)

14 06 2009


Here are some initial questions I thought of for this idea, (see Part 1 below) but there are many more which need to be considered and answered. Please feel free to share what questions you think need to be addressed, and your thoughts.

Q.) How do identify the homeless people and how can we get profiles of them on the website?

With the current outreach workers in the Tri Cities, we can identify who these low needs people are because they are known by the outreach workers. With their consent, we can put their profile and story on a website, where people would have the chance to read about them and choose to sponsor their needs.

Q.) What added benefits do the donors get with this system?

Rather than donating simply to the general cause of alleviating poverty, which many churches in the Tri Cities do, donors get the opportunity to know the person they are helping and therefore put a face to homelessness. By working with the outreach workers to track their progress towards getting housing on the website, a sense of connection between the community and the homeless can be built, misconceptions about homelessness can be dispelled and there is increased motivation for the homeless person to help lift themselves out of homelessness. Furthermore, there would be opportunities for the donors to meet with the homeless people in person if both parties choose, therefore building relationships and helping to re-integrate the homeless into society.

Q.) Who are the potential donors?

I would consider appealing to the five churches who are involved with the Tri Cities Cold Wet Weather Mat Program. These churches have large groups of volunteers who have worked with the homeless and have a desire to help them. After this, we can consider appealing to local businesses and the community in general. There is a wide interest in homelessness in the Tri Cities, as can be seen with the record numbers drawn to the city council meetings when the rezoning of the churches was required for the Cold Wet Weather Mat Program.




5 responses

14 06 2009

One potential hurdle for getting this project going in Vancouver is the stigma attached to being homeless. Perhaps the stories of the individuals seeking help can be told compassionately and gently? Maybe after a long campaign to increase awareness….ie. Myths about Homelessness…..?

15 06 2009

Thanks for bringing that up Beatrice. I definitely think that if we want people to help the homeless, then we need to dispel any misconceptions about homelessness. The stories of the individuals can be told honestly and there might even be an opportunity to arrange a meeting between the person seeking help and the donor.

Also, the people who can be asked to help first can be those who have volunteered for the Cold Wet Weather Mat Program and the homeless before, because these people are usually familiar with the homeless already.

14 06 2009

I love the website! Modest Needs has got the right idea and I hope they keep up the great work they are doing! I also like how accessible it allows ordinary people to help others…awesome.

15 06 2009

Great idea! It would be rewarding if the donor gets to know the person he/she helps. I believe there will be more compassion, understanding and communication happening in helping and being helped. Moreover, with the information about the homeless people, there can be better ways of helping other than just donating money.

21 06 2009

Wow the idea sounds like a good one – it seems to me that if people know who they are giving the money to they are more supportive – it basically puts a face to homelessness. It dispels some misconceptions coz some homeless people are not drug addicts – they are just people like us that have just fallen into hard times. This is a very cool concept and seems very doable. Its almost the same concept as sponsoring a child that you did – u got a picture of the child and some info about the child so it makes u feel good about giving. It connects you so definitely I like this idea – keep up the good work!

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