As a realtor, Brad Roemer matches individuals from all walks of life with their dream home. However, it’s no secret that California has a massive homelessness issue. San Francisco is Oakland’s neighbour, and the cost of living makes it one of the most expensive cities to live in the U.S. In fact, in order to live comfortably in San Francisco the living expenses are at $123,268 per year, versus $99,667 to live comfortably in New York. Oakland is right up there as the fourth most expensive place to live in the United States at $95,611 per year.
When all is said and done, living expenses are crazy expensive in these bustling cities, and homelessness is unfortunately a massive social issue that requires help from everyone. Brad Roemer’s charity of choice is always to help the homeless people lined on the streets of Los Angeles and Oakland by helping out at food kitchens and gathering necessities and Christmas gifts during the holidays. Volunteering consistently can make a massive difference in alleviating this problem, here’s how you can help!
Educate Yourself First
Prior to making any criticisms or judgments, educate yourself about homelessness first. Understand that these are often people who had a line of unfortunate events occur in their life, whether it be having lost their job or experiencing a traumatic incident, resulting in them losing their homes. There’s a certain loneliness and solitude that comes with living on the road. As a passerby, you can help by simply acknowledging their presence and providing a smile and a simple “hello” every now and again. Perhaps you can speak to them, ask them how they are doing, and learn a little bit more about their story. Every person’s story is worth listening to.
Temporary Help Goes a Long Way
If you notice that it is an excruciatingly chilly day, then think about providing immediate help not in the form of cash. Purchase a few gift cards from thrift shops for warm clothing, restaurants and coffee shops so that they can get away from the streets for a few hours and rest in the indoors. For quick energy and nutrition, you can even buy them a meal or make sandwiches. Energy granola bars are a convenient snack to give away. Go to your local grocery store and purchase a stack of water bottles, then pass them around your city’s downtown area. Dehydration is a massive concern amongst the homeless.
Brad Roemer loves to teach his children from early on to give back to others, especially those that are in need. It’s a lovely legacy to leave behind. During the summer, he’ll buy a bulk order of t-shirts from Amazon and have his family distribute them throughout the streets of Oakland. The reason being so that these people in the wretched heat can have a fresh change of clothes after sweating day in and day out. When winter comes about, they’ll stock up on winter gloves, hats and scarves. Even blankets and a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card would be a blessing. Raid your own closets for items you no longer wear or use. If you have winter boots lying around that are from four years ago, then give them away. Whenever you travel to hotels, keep the small complimentary body lotions you find in the bathrooms. Keep them in your purse or pocket and provide it to the people on the streets both during the winter and summer months.
Gather Your Troops
Invite and spread the word about the work you’re doing to alleviate immediate homelessness in your community. Get as many people involved, the more individuals who understand the reasons behind homelessness, such as struggles with addiction and educated individuals down on luck, the more aware people will be when passing by a homeless person on the street. It all starts with awareness for support to take place.