Category Archives: help

Help Support the Homeless – List of supplies

Help support the homeless in your community 

The Following is a list of needed items. Please take what you can to any agency providing homeless services.  This list is something the younsters in your Church or community organization as well as individuals can contribute to any time of the year.   All of these items are in need year around.   Your youth groups will have fun collecting these.

The list was developed by a local service agency in my community: Sweetwater Valley Camp in Austell Ga.   They provide a free food pantry (set up like a grocery store) a free clothing pantry (set up like a retail clothing store) a medical facility (including dental care) and many other services out of a beautifully well-maintained building.  The list was developed in conjunction with Cobb Faith Partnership.

Batteries (AAA, AA, D)         

Feminine hygiene products


Utility/Emergency Candles

Sleeping Bags                         


Bibles & bookmarks


Zip-Lock bags

Thick Socks                            

Garbage bags


Tissues and/or Toilet paper                            

Sewing kits


Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

Tents or shelters                      

Antibacterial Ointment           

Combs & brushes

Small lanterns with batteries   

Coleman catalytic heaters        

Ready-to-eat food

Bottled water

Travel size soaps, shampoos   

Baby wipes or wet wipes

Reading glasses

Shower utility room & 5 gallon solar shower bags (this product provides a private shower)  You can get these at Target and Walmart type stores in camping aisles. 

Link to target on amazon

Reliance Solar Shower Spary $9.99 at Target/Amazon

Camping Super Solar Shower Gaian $18.00  (They also have shower poles and shower tents.

Link to a hanging solar shower bag $11.98 at

I would add to this a list of homeless service providers in your community and a map (see Google) of their locations.   Put the  copy in a gallon size zip lock bag or laminate it.

Your local United Way web site will likely have a very complete list you can download or copy from.

Oldtimer’s comment:  Wanderingvet added a very useful comment below for a personal hygiene kit, which I’ve recopied below.  Put it all into a gallon size ziplock bag.

Personal Hygiene Kit

Tooth Brush,

Tooth Paste (recommend Tom’s of Maine)

Dental Floss (not only for flossing, for clothes line, and stringing rocks in cans around campsite in urban areas),

Plenty of Bandaids (a lot of heel blisters)


cortisone cream,

cotton swabs,

Listerine (mouth wash yes, but very antiseptic also for cuts),

deodorant (pits get stinky),

Razor (Mach3 works best), soap (love that irish spring soap shave also),

nail clippers (keep them short to keep bacteria minimal),

Anti-diarrheal tablets (you do not want the runs)

At a dollar store this list retails about $11.00

And I keep this all in a ziploc freezer bag. A Very Large One as it crushes down well for packing

You can find wandering vet’s great site here:  WanderingVet

 (Find his original comment below)

Thanks Wanderingvet


Fourteen Year Old Girl Cry for Help

Fourteen Year Old Cry for Help

NRS gifThe following exchange is between a 14 year old pregnant girl and the National Runaway Switchboard.   It is long, but has a good ending.   To make a long story short, the girl found their bulletin board and put in a call for help.  The following back and forth exchanges illustrate the way these fine people work.   If you know of a troubled teen that is contemplating suicide or running away or suspect is being abuse/molested, then you should consider giving them the NRS phone number 1800.RUNAWAY.   A number like that is easy to remember.   

Peer Pressure
Are you feeling pressured from your friends to do things you know you shouldn’t do?

I need help…. A.S.A.P – 5/28/2007

Reply: A reply from NRS – 5/28/2007
Reply: me again – 5/28/2007
Reply: Reply from NRS – 5/28/2007
Reply: when – 5/28/2007
Reply: Reply from NRS – 5/28/2007
Reply: when – 5/28/2007
Reply: Reply to NRS – 5/29/2007
Reply: thanks – 5/29/2007
Reply: a response from NRS – 5/29/2007

I need help…. A.S.A.P
OK, I am 14 years old and have a bad drinking problem. Since I have this drinking problem it has made me make bad choices. And the thing is that now I am pregnant. I am 10 weeks and don’t know what to do anymore. My parents don’t know and I don’t want to tell them. I also don’t know who the father is. I tried talking to my parents and asked them what they would do if I ever got pregnant and they said that they would send me away to boarding school and my mom said she would put the guy in jail and my dad said he would kill him. What do I do? If I do tell my parents can they make me get an abortion or put it up fir adoption? I want to keep it but I don’t want to go away to boarding school. Can my parents do that? How do I deal with all of this? I can’t do it on my own anymore. I need to talk to someone about it.

A reply from NRS
Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like there is some intense stuff going on in your life right now. Do you have anyone else you can talk to about this? Friends, teachers, relatives, etc? It also sounds like you don’t want to get an abortion. The truth is your parents can’t make you get an abortion but there are things that parents say and do to try and convince people to do certain things. Sometimes they make them feel guilty about stuff. Do you want to continue with the pregnancy? Do you have any plans for when things happen? What is the ideal situation for you right now? Seems like you’re asking for more support from your parents. Could someone help you communicate that to your parents so they don’t get mad at you while telling them? Your situation is a special one and it’s a bit difficult to talk about issues like these via the internet. Do you think you can call in (don’t worry, we’re anonymous and confidential) and we can talk about right and options you might have. We are here 24/7 to talk about whatever you need to-1800.RUNAWAY

me again
I’m sorry but there is no one else that I can talk to because I don’t trust people anymore. The people at my school wanted to call the cops because they think that I was raped and I was telling them that I think that it was my fault but I don’t know what to tell them anymore. I try to talk to my mom about it but she just stops the conversation or starts yelling at me. I can’t handle it anymore. I know its early but my stomache is getting bigger and I though my parents would realize it by now. Because I haven’t had my period or anything… But you guys are my last place that I could go to get help because I don’t need to get the cops involved and I like how you are confidential. I’m sorry again but I can’t call because my parents would somehow find out.. If you could please just help me over the internet… Thanks

Reply from NRS
Thank you for contacting us again. It sounds like you’re in a really difficult situation, and you want to tell your family that your pregnant but are having a hard time doing so. In the beginning of the bulletin you mentioned telling your friends that you were raped, but thinking that it was your fault. Nobody deserves to be violated in that way, and if somebody made you do something you did not want to do, that is wrong, and it is in no way your fault. You said that you have tried many times to tell your mother but she is not very responsive and even yells at you. What are the arguments usually about? Do you think there is a different way to go about talking to her that might be easier? What about writing her a letter? It also sounds like both of your parents are still not aware that you’re pregnant. How do you think they would react if you told them? I’m also wondering if you have been to any kind of medical facility. Have you already decided what you’re going to do with the baby? It sounds like your not comfortable calling so if you felt comfortable giving us what city and state you live in, we might be able to look up some services in your area that would be helpful. Are there specific services you were thinking of? You can contact us again through the bulletin page. I did want to give you two national resources that might be helpful… Planned Parenthood 1-800-230-7526 RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Networks) 1-800-656-4673 Good luck with everything and contact us again if you want more resources.

When my mother and I argue it is usually about the way I dress or the people I hang out with. She has called me a ho and a slut but she doesn’t know anything about me and I hate how she judges me. I have gone to plan parent hood and they said that I have until friday to figure out what I want to do with the baby or it is going to be to late to get a abortion. My father used to hit me because he didn’t like the way I act and he said that I am not ggod enough to be in his family. They have kicked me out a couple of times and I have run away about 5 times. Some people say that I am better off to go to a shelter than stay at my house. But I won’t be able to leave my brothers and sisters and all my animals behind. When ever I run away my parents call the cops and they just come pick me up, bring me down to the station and then my parents come and pick me up.. Its the same routine every time. When my father was hitting me I told him that if he ever did it again I would report him and then he would never see me again and I will get all of his kids taken away from him, so he stopped. I know that no one deserves to be raped or anything like that but it was kinda my fault because I shouldn’t have been at the party I was at, I shouldn’t have been drinking and I shouldn’t have been wearing the clothes that I was wearing. I just wish that I could rewind my life and start over but unfortunetly I can’t. I am located in orange county, california. So if there is any place that you could tell me to go or call that would be great.. Thanks for all your help and sorry this is so long!!!!

Reply from NRS
Thanks for contacting us again. You sound like you not only have a lot of difficult situations going on in your life right now, but that you’ve been through a lot of tough times in the past. I’m sorry to hear that your father used to hit you, nobody deserves to be treated that way. You said that he doesn’t hit you anymore, but did you ever tell anybody when he did that? And I know you think you put yourself in a bad situation the night you got raped, but whether that is true or not, nobody has the right to hurt you like that. Right now it sounds like the biggest situation you’re dealing with is whether you are going to keep your baby or not. Have you considered what both options would be like? What would it be like to have the baby? What would it be like to have an abortion? I looked up a couple of services in your area that might be able to help. New Hope Teen line 1-714-639-4673 LDS Family Services 1-714-444-3463 (provides free counseling for pregnant girls) Touchstones 1-714-639-5542 (Adolescent Alcohol/Drug Treatment) Community Service Programs, Inc. 1-949-494-4311 (24hr helpline) (Provides youth shelter, crisis referrals, education) Hopefully some of these numbers will help, good luck with everything.

When my father was hitting me I never told anyone except for my best friend last year. One day it got so bad that I went to school with hand prints on my legs and two black eyes. I never really got up the courage to tell anyone. I don’t know what I want to do with my baby because if I keep it I know that it will change my life for ever and people at my school will start talking shit on me and start calling me a slut and bad stuff like that. My parents said that they would send me away to boarding school, because I just asked them what they would do as a random quiestion. I don’t think I would be able to handle not being able to see my friends parents are already to over protective. If I don’t think I would be able to put my baby up for adoption because its like giving your baby away. If I were to have the baby it would change my life forever and I wouldn’t be able to go to school. And if I were to get a abortion I wouldn’t have to tell my parents that I was ever pregnant but I would have to keep that a secret for ever. Is it worth telling the cops? Because I don’t think that there is anything they could do to find the guy because I have no clue to who it could be. And what would happen if I do decide to kep the baby and my parents kick me out? Would I be stuck on the streets and be pregnant? Thanks for all of your help

Reply to NRS
It sounds like you have a lot to think about, and you’re really trying to look at the situation from every angle and understand how each option would affect your life. If you need any more help or perhaps other resources you can always email us at I know you said talking on the phone isn’t really an option because of you’re parents, but is there any way you can use the phone at a friends house, pay phone, school. It might be a little bit easier to discuss some options and talk about your situation. Good luck.

I never thought about using the phone at school, ill try that tomarrow. Is there any way that you could tell me where a place is that I could go and get an abortion, if I decide to get one? Thanks again..

a response from NRS
You can try Planned Parenthood. They hotline is 1-800-230-7526. Good luck.
thanks again

I just wanted to say that you guys have helped me so much… I think you saved my babies life. If I didn’t ask you guys quiestion I don’t know what I would have done… Thanks

This article is only one of more than 27 posts on homeless youth .  In addition there are more than  50 homeless veteran posts.     If you are interested in more, click one of these links.  Thank you for coming by.  Please consider adding me to your feed (see link below my picture.)   Thanks,Oldtimer

What the homeless need most

What the homeless need most 

Most of us need a little help now and then.  Help painting, doing the dishes, with homework, looking after a pet, changing a tire, or maybe with a financial problem.   Very seldom do we fall into a situation that requires help to survive.   You read about people that are stranded on mountains, lost in a wilderness, stuck in a cave, or more commonly, involved in near deadly accidents and need help getting out or getting well.  Thankfully they are still rare occurances.

When it comes to the homeless, needing help is an every day occurrence.  Yet the most often heard phrase is “Get a Job!”.   Some help that is.   This country will spend millions to get someone off a mountain that had been warned of the danger.  We will send dozens of men with heavy equipment to get a horse out of a mud hole and every news outlet will feature it.  We will organize fleets of ships and planes to hunt for a stricken boat with a missing man on the high seas.   

Yet, when it comes to the homeless, other than those who engage in the homeless service industry and the homeless activists among us, there is little or no help when a homeless person is found laying in a doorway near death from freezing, or beaten half to death in an alley where he had been trying to sleep.   Hospitals are even being accused of “dumping” homeless patients on streets near shelters.  I can point you to many notable cases. 

Four homeless men near Must.

(Picture by Oldtimer.)  Can you tell which one was not homeless?

Homeless people need help.  They need our help and they need it almost continuously.   Consider this:  If you have lost a job recently and as a result lost your home, you probably have friends and family to fall back on for much needed help.  You probably have a cell phone and a relationship with a doctor for medical care and probably still have a car.   You are probably not homeless long.

Most homeless have none of those things.  Without a car they are stuck walking and that in turn reduces the range of where they can get help or a job.  Without a phone, they have to rely on stores and the goodness of a clerk to make a call.  When was the last time you saw a payphone?   Many times the homeless can’t even pay to use one if they could find one.

Without a phone and a fixed address, most people could not get a job as those things are at the top of any application.  No way to get a callback for another appointment – opportunity lost.  No fixed address – no job.   Some libraries deny a card to anyone without a fixed address.  No library card, no Internet access.   No clean clothes, poorly nourished, unshaven.  How does that work – get a job indeed!

Tell me friend, when you say “Get a job” how do you do that?

I have a need to work…

But I have no ID,
No phone,
No residence,
No transportation,
No references,
No clean clothes,
No place to wash or shave.

And if I do find work,
I can’t cash my check

I’m Homeless

More on this later.   I have a poem that I want to illustrate this with.  I call it a poem but maybe it doesn’t fit the framework.  It really doesn’t rhyme but I think it at least tells the story.  I call it My Rights – coming next.

If you were looking for a list of supplies I have it right here – Try the link blow!

Click for link:  Help the Homeless – List of Supplies

(photo credit:  Oldtimer taken near MUST in Marietta, GA.

(“I’m Homeless” written by Oldtimer)