5 Things to Say To Someone Experiencing Homelessness


Small conversational gestures can make a big impact for people experiencing homelessness.

In our ongoing commitment to combat homelessness, Endeavors is dedicated to providing housing assistance and homelessness prevention programs for veterans, people with disabilities, and mothers with children in Texas, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico. Since our founding in 1969, we have been actively working to address homelessness and create a future where everyone has the opportunity to live with dignity and stability. Change takes a village, and in that spirit, here are five things you can say to someone experiencing homelessness that not only offer support but also convey empathy and respect.

1. “Hello, What’s Your Name?”

First things first, acknowledging the humanity of those living on the streets is crucial. A powerful way to achieve this is through a genuine introduction. A simple “Hello, What’s Your Name?” can go a long way in creating a connection. By addressing individuals by their names, if shared, we contribute to restoring a sense of dignity that might have been missing in their lives for some time. And never underestimate the power of eye contact to convey sincerity. 

2. “How Are You Doing Today?”

A compassionate inquiry about their well-being can open the door to meaningful conversations. After you ask this question, actively listen to their answer, and ask follow-up questions to foster real connection. Remember that you may be the first person to ask after their wellbeing in days, weeks, or months. 

3. “Is There Anything You Need Right Now?”

Expressing empathy and support involves more than just words. By asking if there’s anything specific they need at the moment, such as a meal, clean clothing, or information about local services, we demonstrate a willingness to help that respects their autonomy. While they may not always accept the offer, the act of asking itself speaks volumes.

4. “I’m Here to Listen if You Want to Talk”

Acknowledging the emotional burdens that individuals experiencing homelessness may carry, offering to listen without judgment can provide tremendous relief. By letting them know that you are available for a conversation, you become an attentive and compassionate listener, offering a sense of solace through your presence alone.

5. “There’s Help Available, and You Deserve It”

Empowerment is key in assisting those in need. Inform them about organizations like Endeavors that are committed to providing housing assistance and support. Encourage them to seek help and remind them that they deserve a stable and safe place to call home. If interested, provide information about local shelters, food programs, or medical services.

In our collective efforts to end homelessness and provide housing assistance, these five phrases serve as a guide to approaching conversations with those in need. It is crucial to respect the uniqueness of each person’s situation and recognize their boundaries and choices.

Homelessness Prevention At Endeavors

If you know or encounter someone facing or experiencing homelessness, Endeavors may be able to help.

In Texas, our housing programs provide short-term, long-term, and permanent housing support for veterans and their families, people with disabilities, and women with disabilities who have children. Endeavors also provides housing support for Bexar County young adults ages 18-24

In Lake Charles, Louisiana, we provide Rapid Re-Housing services for individuals and families whose homes were rendered uninhabitable by hurricanes. 

In Puerto Rico, we operate a Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program that helps veterans find competitive employment, permanent housing, and mental health services.

Our mission extends beyond immediate help; we aim to foster connections, restore dignity, and empower individuals to take steps toward improving their lives. While words make a difference, actions speak louder. By supporting organizations like Endeavors and advocating for policies addressing the root causes of homelessness, you contribute to a future where homelessness is rare, and every individual can live with dignity and stability. Consider supporting Endeavors mission to end homelessness by making a tax-deductible donation on our website

Let’s join hands in creating a society where homelessness is a thing of the past, and every person has a place they can call home. 

About Endeavors

Headquartered in San Antonio, Endeavors is a national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, natural disaster victims, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services and Emergency Services/Disaster Response.

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