How you can help
Liz Kuoppala, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, offers these ideas for helping in the effort to end homelessness:
• Learn the name of a homeless person
• Give of yourself; volunteer at a shelter
• Give money, either to the coalition or to a shelter program
• Charity is not enough; sign up for info and action alerts by emailing this address.
• Keep learning about the issue
• Stay current on issues with the coalition's Facebook page
Kuoppala also suggests carrying a pack of men's white cotton tube socks for panhandlers at exit ramps. "There's nothing so miserable as wet feet when you're outside all day," she said. "And women take the men's socks too — thicker than women's."
And she notes that homeless folks say their No. 1 need is hope, so be generous with smiles and warm greetings to everyone. "It's not always so obvious who is homeless and who is housed."
Contributions to Minnesota nonprofits can be made online via GiveMN.org.