From Cincinnati Car Donation to Buying Bus Fare: 5 Ways You Can Help the Homeless This Winter

Taking part in our car donation program is just the beginning in the season of giving

As winter begins to tighten its chilly grasp on most of the US, it’s more important than ever that the homeless population is given the resources they need to survive.

Unfortunately, in some cities, assisting the homeless is becoming a crime.

This past November, a 90-year old man was arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for giving food to homeless people on a public beach. Officials stated that he was violating a new city ordinance which prohibits ‘food sharing.’ Since then, three more people have been arrested for doing the same.

Similar stories have come out of New Hampshire and North Carolina, as well. Church groups and humanitarians are being told by police and city officials that they could be fined or arrested for feeding the homeless on city property.

These are just some of the examples of cities attempting to ‘fix’ the homeless problem by making it a crime to help those in need. It’s a disturbing trend that merely masks the issue rather than dealing with it. Cities in other countries have even gone as far as installing structures that prevent the homeless from finding urban shelter.

However, instead of trying to rid cities of the homeless, shouldn’t we lend a helping hand? Here are five ways you can help the homeless veterans and individuals in your area:

Offer money

It’s easy to simply lower your head and dismissively wave off a homeless person who asks you for some spare change. But, if you actually take a moment to check and if you have any money to spare, it may help someone get food or pay for bus fare.

Offer food

If you meet a homeless person and don’t have any spare change or cash, offer to buy them some food. Even a few bucks can buy some healthy snacks and bottled water at your local convenience store, and will be very appreciated. You can even pick up a few small gift cards to hand out as an alternative to carrying cash.

Offer clothing

As the days grow colder, it’s important that the homeless are well-clothed. Offer to buy gloves, socks, blankets and other items to help the homeless shelter themselves from the winter weather—like this police officer who purchased a pair of shoes for a homeless gentleman.

Offer to pay for a ride

Without transportation, homeless men and women are forced to walk through the cold weather between shelters, food banks and areas where they can stay. If you see a homeless person who appears to be heading somewhere, offer to buy them a bus pass or pay for cab fare.

Make a Cincinnati car donation 

Homelessness in America isn’t a problem that can be simply swept under the rug. Instead, the best way to help the homeless is to give them the shelter and opportunities they need to turn their lives around.

If you have an extra vehicle that’s just rusting outside in the snow, donate it to Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio in Cincinnati. We’ll take boats, RVs, tractors, motorcycles and almost anything else with a motor–running or not. We can also arrange free same-day towing, and your vehicle may be worth more as a tax-deductible donation than privately sold property.

Your donation will help the homeless in all of the Ohio communities we serve. Please fill out the car donation form, or contact the Car Donation & Auction Office at 614-870-7511 if you have any questions.