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In America, the land of plenty, our homeless struggle to just get through the day. Cruelty is a constant, and on a good day, they may simply be ignored. What a shame, as so many lives can begin to blossom with a sprinkle of help and kindness. So if you’re thinking, “What can I do?”, Google! Take action! Or simply read on for a few ideas to kick-start saving the world, or just lend a hand.

Resume Writing

Not every homeless person is on the streets because of an addiction or mental illness. Some are there because they were laid off or otherwise unemployed and unable to get another job. After some time out of work, it can be difficult to conform to modern professional standards. Resumes are the first impression of a candidate, which is why it is great if you can help the homeless create one that is positive and fits standards. Try working with your local library to see if there is a time when you can use their computers and host an informal session. Then, make sure to spread the word about your class. Finally, prepare to encounter some difficult situations. Look up the best ways to handle long periods of unemployment on a resume, as well as terminations versus lay-offs, and more. The program will be more of a tutoring session, but it will help get people started on the right path.

Job Search and Interviewing

Of course, after people have a solid resume, they still need to find a job that matches their skills and strengths. Volunteer to help search for steady jobs that can help a person get back on their feet and build their confidence. The searching part itself is not difficult.  But the application and interviewing process may be. Coach your group on how to complete applications, write cover letters, and answer open-ended questions to set themselves up for success. However, it is an unfortunate reality that a permanent address is often required to apply for jobs. Assistance in finding housing can be one part of your program, although you may also want to go with the approach of speaking directly to local businesses about your program and seeing if they would be willing to help. There are many resources available to help homeless people find jobs before they have a home. Take advantage of these resources when developing your program.

After your group has applied, they may be asked to come in for an interview. As a final part of your program, coach them on proper interview etiquette, give examples of answers to questions, practice with them, and help them feel comfortable. You may also want to help them out with some appropriate clothes as well as find places where they can freshen up before the interview. Then follow up, follow up, follow up. They may not be successful after the interview. Encourage them in order to build their confidence back up for the next interview.

For some people, all they need is a little compassion and someone to help them get back on track. While we can’t end homelessness through volunteer programs alone, we can make a difference in lives, one person at a time. At a very minimum, please be kind to the homeless. It costs us absolutely nothing. But truly caring can make all the difference in the world!