If you’re feeling particularly pessimistic, you could say that people are becoming less and less caring about each other. That’s certainly what some people would want you to believe after Trump’s presidential victory. But this isn’t really a realistic way of looking at things. The fact is that there are still more people that ever out there who want to help others. Maybe you’re one of those people?
Homelessness of both young people are even entire families are on the rise. With this in mind, many people out there are looking for ways to help tackle the problem. For the most part, solving the root causes are out of the reach of regular people. But what about doing something that can help people when they’re at their lowest? This desire to help is why homeless shelters are becoming more sought-after. This is especially true as Christmas looms.
So perhaps you’re looking to start a homeless shelter, permanent or temporary. Perhaps you’ve taken over the operations of one. In any case, here are some of the essentials you need to consider.
You can’t just set up shop anywhere you like! You need to be very careful about where you place a shelter like this. If you set it too far away from popular urban environments, then many won’t be able to use them. You need to find a big enough property somewhere relatively close to where the problem is at its worst.
Sure, you may have started this venture with nothing but the purest of intentions. You may not consider this a business. But a homeless shelter is still a business and needs to be treated as such, even if it’s a non-profit. That means you need to get your hands on some capital. You could look into humanitarian crowdfunding if you like. But remember that the government has programs that can help you fund these sorts of charitable endeavors.
You need to think of the sorts of resources you’re going to need to keep this place running. You’re going to need heating, blankets, seating, and beds. You’re going to need food and drink. And you’re definitely going to need some volunteers! You may be able to get some donations coming in from interested local people. Food can often be acquired by nearby restaurants – more restaurants than you think give leftovers to nearby shelters! You can also import meat and other foods if you’re going to be particularly busy.
Getting the word out
“Build it and they will come.” Perhaps you think that’s especially true when it comes to shelter. But you still need to put effort into making sure the public know about this. You may think that the homeless aren’t exactly big media consumers – and you’re right. But people who know others in trouble, or who are willing to help, definitely need to know via marketing. Traditional physical marketing like posters and flyers are essential here. They will help you get the message directly to those on the streets who need your help the most.