questionsif you were 20-something and homeless on theā€¦

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How about a coupon for a free oil change for her Mercedes that's parked around the corner?! I know, I'm bad and shouldn't have said that. I really do admire people like you who go out of their way to do nice things for the less fortunate. I think your list has things pretty much covered.

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Can I get my "20-something" back ??

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@ojulius: That is pretty horrible, but I know you are kidding.

No, this girl has been in the same spot for a long time. A group of friends and I identified her and would like to get her out of her predicament somehow.

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Maybe some old clothing like sweatshirts and long underwear put in an old rolling suitcase that someone no longer needs. I do not care where you are, it gets a bit cold at night, and the case will allow easy movement of her few possessions.

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@lll0228: Yeah, I left myself wide open for downvotes by posting what I did, but I could care less about votes. What's important to me is that you read my reply beyond the part that I was trying to be funny. I appreciate people like you who are trying to help people make a change in their lives.

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Before I read your question, I was thinking about this same kinda stuff, triggered by an Uncle who is visiting. My Mother (rip) was one of 11 kids. I'm going to be 70 next month, so I've been around for a while. I feel blessed to be a part of this family. Only one uncle and two aunts left. Without trying to write a book, I learned a lot about values growing up in this family environment. My Grandparents never had much, but they always had more to give than what they had, if that makes any sense to you. They survived the depression. That being said, I've gone out of my way during my lifetime trying to help people in need, and sometimes it hasn't worked out as well as I had hoped. So I was at a point where I didn't try any more. Don't do that!

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We collect hotel toiletries and clearance items like stocking caps, gloves and refillable water bottles to make summer and winter donations to our local Health Care For The Homeless organization. Two of their standing "critical needs" are lip balm and sunscreen, to which I'd think hand lotion would be a logical addition.

Also, if there are any fast food restaurants nearby, a small gift card would be a nice addition to your collection. (I suggest fast food since these places usually present fewer problems with social clashes.)

Thanks @lll0228 for your concern for this young woman. I hope that she will appreciate your kindness, but please don't be offended if she takes umbrage. Some people on the street are there by choice (or try to convince themselves that is the case) and don't appreciate others seeing them as in need.

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Gift cards for food (fast food, grocery, etc) should be on the list. :)

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pre-paid cell phone card or cell phone. I have been homeless before and being able to make a call when you really want or need to can make a huge difference in your day. Other things that are really useful, duct tape (what is it not good for?), lighters or matches (its hard to heat up food when you have nothing to start a small fire with), cheap containers like ziplock or glad or tupperware (you can keep your things organized, accessible, and clean if you have something to put them in), toothbrush and toothpaste, shoe insole replacements. There are a ton of other things, but each one kinda varies depending on where you are and what your habits are, like needle and thread with some spare cloth for patches, or socks.

edit The radio is a great idea, right up until the battery powered part... hand crank is better, you never need more batteries.

something else I forgot.... Conversation and being treated with a little dignity and humanity. Being homeless is hard enough...

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@zueistpriest: Great suggestions! I'm going to add them to my own list. Thanks!

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@zueistpriest: Even a deactivated cell phone is useful for calling 911. Imagine having an emergency and there's no pay phones anywhere anymore.

The trouble is access to charging. I don't know how that's best handled.

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@omnichad: Finding a place to charge it isn't as hard as you would think. Just about every major store out there will let you charge your stuff if you ask if its OK first, fast food included. Most McDonalds have wall outlets on the outside walls behind the fake plants, most will just plug your stuff in behind the counter for you while you are eating if you ask nicely.

Something else to consider... This girl you are trying to help out, the only difference between her and other "normal" girls is circumstance. Don't think of her as homeless and needy, think of her like you do your friends... when give gifts to your friends, what do they like? If you ask, i'm sure she would let you know what she misses from her easier days or needs to keep going on the path she is on.

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@zueistpriest: And in that vein, they may even have a college degree. Tough job market right now. Probably the best thing you could do to brighten someone's day is to ask what they might be looking for in a job so you can keep attention for them.

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I would not give her the mace, it sounds cruel but it could do more harm than good. If she is mentally unstable, she could end up spraying people and you could be blamed. If she has a record, she is not even suppose to have mace and you could get her sent to jail. If she chooses to commit a crime using it, you could always be charged as an accessory, the same way if you gave her a gun. The laws may vary slightly in your state but mace is not something that you want to mess with or have in the hands of the wrong person.

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I think it is very nice of you to do this.
Depending on her réponse to your dropping off the stuff and or your comfort and your ability to follow through......
You might inquire what she needs -- maybe the name of a shelter or organization that could provide services or as someone else mentioned, a job/ job placement help. Or she might need/want a bus ticket to family and/or friends that should could stay with .
On an adventure a million years ago, I rode the bus cross country. There was a young girl on the bus who had fallen on hard times and been homeless. She shared that a church or some such group gave her a bus ticket to get back home. She was very grateful.

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@zueistpriest: Thank you. Yes. We are definitely aware of the sensitivity in the situation. Most of us volunteer at a Food Bank, and we will start it as a conversation instead of anything else.

Thanks for bringing it up, it's a very important point. We have seen a few Masters and PhDs at the Food Bank. The stories were horrific...

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@ceagee: Thank you. That is exactly what we will make an attempt to do.

If she has the right skills, we would find a way to hire her even.

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@lll0228:
Wonderful.
Please let us know how things work out , k?

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@ceagee: Thanks for the encouragement. We are going to act next week.

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I know it sounds crazy, but maybe a 3 month membership to a health club. A place where she can shower, change, and get warm. Most have TV's and music. She could feel human for awhile.

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One of the women in our group of friends talked to her. It's going to work out nicely.

Here's what we have collected so far.

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I might add in a toothbrush and some toothpaste.

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Oh lord, if you're going to put Steinbeck in there, put in something with a sense of humor please or at least cheerful...Wodehouse, Jean Shepherd, Douglas Adams, a comic strip collection, something...

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Apologies to Steinbeck...it seems I should read Tortilla Flat.