How to Put Together a Care Package for the Homeless
Being out on the streets isn’t easy. Unfortunately, for over 235,000 Canadians experiencing homelessness every year, there may not be any other option. As an organization that supports people experiencing homelessness, we know that kindness and a little bit of help can go a very long way. And, that’s where the homeless care package comes in.
Want to help out your neighbours by handing out care packages but aren’t sure what to include in each one? Don’t worry! Here’s everything you need to know about how to create a life-changing care package for people experiencing homelessness.
What to Include in a Care Package for the Homeless
When it comes to putting together care packages, it’s vital to keep in mind that homeless people do not always have a safe place to store their things. So, you may want to consider packing everything in a backpack or another easy to carry bag that your recipients will be able to reuse in the future.
Once you have the “package” portion covered, it’s time to fill it up with “care.” Here are a few things every care package for the homeless should include.
When it comes to food, you want to make sure you’re not filling your care packages up with a bunch of empty carbs. Your care package should contain healthy, protein-rich snacks that can help satiate an appetite for several hours.
Care package-friendly, nutritious and protein-rich snacks include:
- beef jerky
- tuna or chicken salad snack-packs
- peanut butter crackers
- pre-packaged cheese and crackers
- protein or granola bars
- mixed nuts
- trail mix
- gum or mints
- apple or banana
You may also want to include a few bottles of water in each care package. You should also create a few without any nuts or peanut butter in case of allergies.
Maintaining personal hygiene can be tricky without stable access to a clean bathroom and supplies. So, your care packages should also include a few standard toiletries.
A few basic toiletries that you should include in your care packages are:
- wet wipes
- petroleum jelly
- a first-aid kit
- a toothbrush and toothpaste
- body lotion
- hand sanitizer
- nail clippers
- a hairbrush or comb
- maxi pads
You may also want to include one or two reusable hand towels your recipients will be able to carry with them.
Finally, there are a few more necessities and goodies you should include in your care package to round them out.
These extra items include things like:
- a gift card to a local grocery store or coffee shop
- a flashlight
- ziplock bags
- a small tarp or blanket
- a few pairs of thick, high-quality socks
- warm gloves
- a good book
Lastly, you should finish off your care package with a message of kindness, and a list of local resources they can visit to receive additional help.
How to Distribute Care Packages
Once you have your care packages together, it’s time to distribute them.
If you prefer to hand out care packages directly to people on the streets, it is best to do it with a friend. And remember, always ask, don’t assume.
You should also consider contacting a local charity to figure out the best and most beneficial places to visit. Here is the list of our locations that are happy to accept your in-kind donations.
Other Ways to Help
People experiencing homelessness often do not have access to or cannot afford small necessities. And, having access to these types of goods can make all the difference to someone who is trying to get back on their feet.
Now that you know how to put together a homeless care package, there are other things you can do to help out those in need.