eddie_centered24 karma2014-11-22 19:45:51 UTC
I would rather please myself by helping someone else than please myself by only helping myself.
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eddie_centered10 karma2014-11-22 19:28:18 UTC
It's an issue of cost-effectiveness. Building a shelter is a 1M+ endeavor with lots of ongoing admin costs and volunteer hours. That's not to say we shouldn't be building more shelters, but that simply that sleeping bags are a stopgap solution in the mean time we can do to help. There's a substantial shortage in available housing/shelter opportunities that cannot be easily met in our community.
eddie_centered8 karma2014-11-22 22:20:41 UTC
1) Good thought - I'll ask around to other non-profit agencies and see if that's something they would recommend as well.
2) Yes, I'm prepared for a portion of them to be littered. My perspective is if even 1/3 of the actual people who receive sleeping bags are able to make good use of it, that's a win. In essence, if it costs $60 to provide a sleeping bag to someone who can make good use of it, that's still something I'd see as worthwhile. Also, I've given a number of these out personally in the past and seem them put to good use over time.
If you're interested in coming out to help, feel free to sign up with one of the links below:
The leaders link is for people with experience working with or serving the homeless like yourself who would be comfortable leading a team of four.
eddie_centered8 karma2014-11-22 19:38:16 UTC
No one's ever responded with a "don't need your charity" kind of mentality. Some have declined as they frequent shelters or make use of other resources and simply don't need or want one. In that case, they often refer a friend who could use one.
eddie_centered7 karma2014-11-22 19:07:03 UTC
A lot of factors...
I was a student at the University of Washington and homelessness is a huge issue on and around campus. In my freshman year, I remember walking back from the gym one day and realizing that everything I did in life was completely for myself, so I decided to just go out on the streets and talk to people and see how I could help.
I ended up talking to a man on the way to a bar who was mourning the anniversary of his son's death. I ended up spending 2 hours with him hearing his story and learned that he had 4 months left to live as he was suffering from cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. The experience led me to volunteer with a number of non-profits and spend time with the homeless on my own. I found sleeping bags to be one of the most cost-effective ways to help someone and wanted to leverage crowdsourcing to be able to meet a greater need.
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