Thanks to the bitterly cold temperatures, those who have nowhere else to sleep have to deal with issues such as exposure and hypothermia. Conditions such as these can be extremely fatal for those who are part of the homeless community, as the average age of death for a homeless person currently stands at 47.
Here are some ways in which you can help those affected by homelessness during the winter season.
Recognize the Warning Signs of Hypothermia
Keeping an eye out for the warning signs of hypothermia is certainly an important way to help someone who is homeless during the winter. If you notice any of these symptoms, get help for the affected person immediately:
*Breathing that is slow and shallow
*Lack of coordination/clumsiness
*Loss of consciousness
*Red, cold skin (mostly in infants)
Donate Your Old Coat
Whether it's going to a thrift store, grocery store where there's a donation barrel, or even giving your old coat directly to a homeless person, donating your old coat is a great way to help ensure that someone who is affected by homelessness stays warm during the winter. It's also better than just leaving it laying or hanging around your home when you have no plans to wear it anymore.
Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter
This is a great option to consider as well, especially if you're someone who has some free time on their hands and have no idea what to do with it. Regardless of how often you may want to help, there are all sorts of opportunities across the country that you can take advantage of in order to help those affected by homelessness.
Buy the Homeless Person Something Hot to Eat or Drink
Something as simple as this, if you feel comfortable doing so, will not only make sure that they don't go hungry, but also works as a wonderful act of kindness. Any amount of human contact, especially towards those who are less fortunate than you, can make a great amount of difference.
Homelessness is a known humanitarian issue in Austin, and according to the numbers, there’s some good news and some bad news regarding the battle to decrease the number of homeless individuals in the Texas capitol city.
The good news is that, according to KVUE ABC, there was an overall 25% reduction in youth homelessness, and a decrease in homeless veterans in Austin between 2018 and 2019.
The city of Austin began a program in 2017 with LifeWorks to help lower the number of homeless youth on the streets, and that program appears to be working.