I was asked advice about helping homeless and things I do. I thought “I’d kill two birds with one stone” and write a blog post and just say a few things I do.
Firstly every person is different and I adjust to what they say more than anything. I do my ‘Pie & Coke’ which is me going up to someone and just asking if they would like to join me in having something to eat and drink. The idea is to buy the food and just sit and listen. I have found most people like to talk about themselves and homeless are no different. But listening to them I get an understanding of where there coming from.
You see people are homeless because of different reasons and only a fool would think they know the reason before talking to the person. The thing I learnt quickly was that sometimes there can be a quick fix to help people and some is a long road. In a lot of cases it’s mental health, something that’s happened to them before they became homeless or just hardship that got on top of them. All of which is very important to address before even thinking of helping that person get off the streets.
But I think one of the most important things is I don’t ever sit above them, if their sitting on the grass then so am I. I talk to whoever it is as an equal and a mate. I try to understand what they have/are going through and I always offer (only) to help by contacting or giving the correct services I think would help them. Now I’d like to say this is very successful, sure a lot of people open up and I’m able to help them in a huge way, but I can say there’s heaps of homeless people I’ve not even being able to get their names. But the way I see it I manage to give them a hot meal and drink and that in itself is worthwhile.
I think that’s why I like walking around and offering to buy someone a meal and just chat. I’m just a guy trying to be a friend/mate, I don’t ask them to come to an office which some wouldn’t, I talk to them in their environment where they feel more comfortable.
Now I’m not a counsellor by any means and I’m sure they would handle things much better than anything I’d do or say. But I do the best I can, because I was homeless and I feel I do have an understanding of what they are going through. Besides I do have a great success rate and that’s better than doing nothing.
So in fact if I was to offer advice in helping ‘Homeless People’ then I would say “take the word homeless away and your left with just PEOPLE”. I really think some people forget that they are really just dealing with people going through hard times and in a lot of cases that’s all. Whether it’s someone with Mental health, Bad past or even hardship they are people.
Now if I really wanted to get into details I’m sure I could write a book and better yet a series of books. But in my book the biggest thing to remember is that some people slide off the tracks a bit and it’s understanding why first is the biggest step.
One thing I have learnt is that if you push for helping when they’re not ready then you may get burnt and waste resources.
Now on a different note, lately I have been doing my BBQ’s every 2 months and helping a lot of homeless and people in need at one time. But because of me having Leukaemia and recent events with me having a Heart attack and a Stroke in the last 10 months I am trying to put in place a ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ for the biggest BBQ helping homeless and people in need. You see I want to show how much help is needed because of the numbers of people coming. So the next BBQ is planned to be in November. I know it means not helping people with BBQ’s every 2 months but I really feel doing this will help many more in the future if it gets the awareness of numbers out.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people will want to come on board and help with this one and to be honest I’ll need all the help I can get. Haha So please email or call me.
I’d like to thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have a great day.
Grant the Polite Guy
0412 190 011