Sneak Preview of My New ebook by Travis Sharpe

I am excited that my brand new ebook, 50 Practical Ways You Can Help The Homeless, is almost complete. Actually, the content is finished already and we are now working on the delivery. The book is not meant to be fancy, but practical. In the book there are fifty ideas that you can immediately put into action.

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The suggestions I set forth in the book are simple and anyone can put them to use. They are meant to be a “starter” of sorts. My prayer is that the book will spur the reader to do something, anything, to begin reaching out to people who need help. There are some simple acts of kindness listed within the book that you can use to open a much wider door, the opportunity to share the gospel.

This book will be absolutely free to everyone who signs up for our email list. (If you are already on the list, you will receive it first!) Today, I wanted to give you a preview. I chose five random ideas straight from the book to share as a sneak peak. I hope you enjoy these five and look forward to receiving the others in a few days.

1. PRAY WITH SOMEONE

One wet, dreary, day in Birmingham, AL, I gathered in a circle with several people on my ministry team along with a homeless man we met earlier that day. As we stood in the light rain with our heads bowed, I could tell that there was a real sense of thankfulness in the group as we gathered together to pray. After I finished praying, the man whom we were praying for, began to pray for us!

The man was deaf and mute, making it impossible for us to understand his words. All we heard was groaning and muffled sound. However, as he talked to the Lord, there was no question that he was thanking God and praying for us. We all left in tears.

There is something so comforting about prayer that it is hard to explain. Prayer has a way of conquering our fears and calming our spirit. Imagine a life filled each day with chaos and uncertainty, a life filled with little, or no hope. Now imagine the hope and peace that a simple heartfelt prayer can give. I encourage you to not just pray for people, but also pray with people. It will be a real benefit to the person who hears you call their name out to God in prayer.

2. HAVE SOME FUN

I remember taking a group of homeless men to a softball game once. We all had a great time of fellowship and enjoyed the day. On the way back to the shelter, I overheard one of the men as he told his friend, “I didn’t even feel homeless today.”

It had been a very long time since any of them had enjoyed some fun. Consider taking someone to a minor league baseball game or a Friday night football game. Maybe even a good movie would do the trick.

Living everyday on the streets forces people into “survival mode” and any sense of normalcy is soon gone. Helping someone experience the joys of life again, instead of the constant pressure and worry that is associated with life on the streets, might go a long way to give hope.

3. CARE FOR A PET

Believe it or not, many people who are homeless have pets. I have met hundreds of people who have a dog or other pet that they love deeply. These pets can bring joy and companionship that they may not get anywhere else. For some, their dog may be all they have left.

When you care for a person’s best friend, you can reach their heart! Maybe you could buy some dog food or a new collar or leash? Perhaps you could offer to keep their pet safe while they go to a shelter, a treatment facility, or through a helpful program? There are many ways to bless a person by taking care of their pet. Be creative and see what you can do!

4. TAKE SOMEONE FOR A HAIRCUT

I was 21 years old the first time I took a homeless man to get a haircut. The man’s name was Fred and we had become good friends. One day Fred asked me if I would mind helping him by taking him to the barber. I agreed, and actually wound up taking Fred and two of his friends.

He told me where the cheapest barber was, and when we arrived, I immediately knew why they were the cheapest! Two barbers were on duty and one of them was so old that he couldn’t hold the clippers in his hand without shaking violently. The year was 1996 and the old green building on 8th street in Augusta, GA, was probably built long before 1900. That was a fun experience I will never forget and Fred and his friends were very grateful.

Do you remember how good you felt after your last haircut? I thought so. Me too! Everyone loves that fresh, clean feel. People who are homeless like this feeling also. The problem is that with little money at their disposal, haircuts are often put on the back burner. Other needs such as food and shelter must come first. This simple act of kindness can go a long way to building a friendship.

5. PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO AN APPOINTMENT

Transportation is a constant issue for most people who are homeless. This is especially true in smaller cities and towns where there is not adequate public transportation. Jobs, doctor’s visit’s, reclaiming lost documents, and many other needs require that a person have the ability to move from place to place.

Opportunities and obligations alike are often missed because of a lack of transportation. Taking the time to get someone to their appointments could arguably be one of the most helpful things you could do to progress him or her toward self sufficiency.