Helpless to Help?

I've found myself feeling constantly conflicted after doing a 'good deed' and offering a rough sleeper assistance. I can give food, clothing, money, time or conversation and all the above and still come away feeling hollow, with the nagging feeling that I was only able to provide a plaster for a circumstance that require deep physical, financial, spiritual and psychological rejuvenation in most cases. 

The classic saying comes to mind "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."

The ability to once again instil self-sufficiency in another can be seen as noble and a way of giving back (if it was lost) a sense of dignity and pride. But is providing a craft, a skill or a means of work really the solution to taking someone off the streets and keeping them off?

I'm not so sure. That would suggest that most of the homeless were without skill and the many incredible people I've come into with contact with that happen to be on the streets, would say different. Each individual is as unique as their circumstance, their skill set and the story they've told me. Though they hold similar threads of financial, mental or relational issues for both Men and Women. 

There is no one solution but thousands of unique solutions are needed. 

So how do we tackle this, how do we make a sizeable dent in this all too familiar issue?

I don't have all the answers or in fact many answers, but I'm glad that I'm aware of so many charities and initiatives that do great work in this area - Shelter, Evolve London, Crisis, Centrepoint, St Mungo's and many others. 

This is why Grace to the Humble gives a portion of profits to causes like alleviation of homelessness. 

So are we really helpless to help? No. It's better that we do what we can, give what we can or 'give a man a fish' until he/she are mentally, physically and financially able to fish for themselves. 



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