5 ways you can help the homeless

There are a number of ways that each of us can help the people doing it tough on our streets. In South Australia, there are almost 6,000 homeless people, and helping them might be easier than you think. Alone, none of us can solve the problem of homelessness, however, we can all make a small difference.

  1. Volunteer – Volunteer at a shelter of organisation that assists homeless people, for example, the Hutt Street Centre.
  2. Coffee – Purchase a suspended coffee – there are a number of places throughout the country that allow you to purchase a coffee, and pay for two. The coffee that you don’t take with you is the suspended coffee. This coffee is available to anyone who goes into the store and asks for a suspended coffee. It might not seem like much, but a small luxury like a coffee could make a homeless person’s day so much brighter.
  3. Sanitary Items – Next time you are shopping, pick up an extra box of pads or tampons from the sanitary aisle. You can donate these to shelters, and while it might not be super glamorous, it’s something that most women need each month, and they are expensive!
  4. Warm Clothes – As we are coming to the end of winter, why not dig through your wardrobe and donate all those scarves and beanies that you’re not using? Scarves, beanies, gloves and socks are all warm, and small enough for homeless people to be able to pop them in their bags when they are not in use.
  5. Toiletries – We all have a drawer full of toiletries acquired from hotels. The reality is, you probably don’t need twenty tiny bottles of shampoo or conditioner, however, these can be perfect for boarding houses and homeless shelters. Why not drop them off to somewhere they can be used, rather than have them take up space in your bathroom!

I hope that one of these ideas has struck a chord with you, and you have been inspired to get out there, and make a small difference to those who need it. We can’t change the world, but we can do something!


  1. Jennifer C

    Hi Bridie,

    Love the suggestions for how to help the homeless. May I also suggest, going out and talking to a homeless person and hearing their story will also help them. By doing so, not only will you let them know that they’ve made a friend, but will also feel wanted and not like a nuisance. I read once that the homeless always feel that “if you don’t see me, then I don’t exist”. I feel like this is so true, many people simply just walk past the homeless and don’t give them any attention. Let’s show them that they are not invisible and are valued in this community.
    I also love the idea of suspended coffee- I’ve heard about it many times, some people also call it ‘pay it forward’ coffee. It’s such a good initiative, but I believe that many of the homeless have not learnt of it yet.
    What are some shelters that you recommend to go and volunteer at?

    Jennifer C

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