How to help people experiencing homelessness in Phoenix this holiday season
More than 9,000 people in metro Phoenix are experiencing homelessness, according to this year's point-in-time count. At least 5,000 of those people are not staying in a shelter and are on the street or in their vehicles.
State of play: If you're looking for a way to support people experiencing homelessness during the holidays, Phoenix's Healthy Giving Council recommends working directly with a nonprofit organization to volunteer or donate instead of handing out food or clothes directly.
What they're saying: "(Handing out) a simple sandwich isn't going to address the cause (of homelessness). It might make you feel good but long term, are we really helping that individual?" said Phoenix City Council member Debra Stark.
Why it matters: In addition to providing food, clothing and other items, nonprofit organizations offer services like housing counseling, job training and medical care, which can help end the cycle of homelessness.
What's happening: Many local organizations are looking for assistance.
Prep and serve meals at one of the many St. Vincent de Paul dining rooms throughout the Valley.
Help move, sort and clean furniture for this nonprofit that furnishes homes for families leaving homelessness.
Do crafts and activities with the children staying at the family shelter.
This family shelter is in need of twin and queen sheets, paper products, school supplies, toothpaste, shoes and more.
This day center for homeless seniors is looking for toilet paper, sleeping bags, laundry detergent, pocket spiral notebooks and more.
This organization provides job assistance and is in need of casual and professional clothes for men and women.
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