The next time you pass someone on the street asking you for spare change, take a moment to talk with them. You can give them change or share any snacks you may have, but also be sure to just say hello and speak with them for a while.
Often what we all want more than anything is to know that our lives matter, and what better way to show that than to take the time to listen to someone? In listening, you are telling the person that they are special, and that you are interested in them as a person.
This person now knows that you care about them! You might be the only person all day that they get to have a real conversation with. If you have friends or children with you, this is an excellent way to teach them that all people matter.
If you take the same route to work or school each morning then it is possible you will see the same homeless person on your commute more than once in a week. Say hello everytime you see them and get to know them. You may be able to help more than you think just by listening. Or perhaps when you buy your morning coffee or breakfast snack, by an extra cup or muffin and offer it to your new friend.
If you don't feel comfortable diving into a long conversation, simply make eye contact and say hello with a smile. This is a simple way to let them know that you see them, and that they matter.
Here are some other ways you can help the homeless
Even if you are short on money yourself you can still help
Many cities and towns have road races or walk-a-thons to help the homeless in that area. Check with your local nonprofits to see if something like that exists in your area.