Everyday Tools You Should Have When Approached by a Homeless Individual

By Niki Schoggen

Picture it

You are walking through downtown Memphis, there’s a chill in the wind as it cuts through the alley, when you make eye contact with a homeless individual.

What do you?

What are the things that run through your mind, especially if you see they are about to approach you?

Are you hesitant to engage in conversation?

Are you afraid?

Are you disgruntled at their audacity to ask you for a hand out?

If you answered yes to one or more of those question, you are not alone.

As a matter of fact, with more than 1,400 people in Memphis considered homeless, the chances of an encounter are growing. The saddest part of that number, is an unbelievable portion of that number is children and/or families with children.

In uncertain times, with crime rates on the rise, and weather harsher than ever, the desperation of these people, some of which suffer from mental illness,  comes across as abrasive, offensive, and aggressive.

Put yourself in their shoes for one minute.

What circumstances could drive you to become abrasive, offensive, and aggressive? 

So how do you handle it? 

Want to do something for those you see hurt in their eyes, but what? 

You know in your heart they will not use the money, if you even have any in your pocket to hand them.

The question remains…what do you do?

Keep walking and feel guilty?

Do you deep down truly wish there was something you can do or something you can give them?

Here at Refuge Memphis, we have two programs that are here to assist the homeless:

Shepherd’s Inn and Shower of Blessings.

Both of these programs have an admission pass that you can purchase at our online store that has a value of $25 to those individuals.

It has important information for them listed on and provides for hot showers, clean clothes, and hot meals FREE TO THEM, along with free transportation.

How is this free for them?

You, a concerned citizen, a compassionate human, purchases a packet of ten cards for $25 which holds a total value of $250. 

You hand out this card instead of cash with a clean conscience and knowledge that you are putting these individuals in touch with an organization that offers services and programs that are working and is changing the lives in our community.

Please visit https://refuge-memphis.com/store/ and check our featured products and to purchase a copy of The Concrete Killing Fields by Pat Morgan who has made it her life’s mission to assist the homeless, and the meal & shelter passes.