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The original item was published from 12/21/2017 10:42:57 AM to 12/21/2017 10:43:55 AM.

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Office of Communications

Posted on: December 21, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Why Homeless Need "More than a Meal" This Holiday Season

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Approximately 10,000-14,000 homeless men, women and children live in shelters, cars, unsafe buildings, or on the streets in Maricopa County. Many are homeless for the first time, and others have been on the streets for decades. Many are families, usually a single mom with children. Most are single males; men like Ray, the unofficial DJ at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

You can help the homeless population by participating in Maricopa County’s #MoreThanAMeal campaign. By volunteering, donating, or assisting various organizations that work to eliminate homelessness in our community, you can make a real difference in someone’s life.

Often times, especially during the holidays, organizations or individuals offer food and supplies directly to the homeless population, not to service providers. While the intentions are good, this limits the ability of providers to interact with the group and provide them with long-term solutions to help end their homelessness. Also, most of the organizations that provide meals to those in need have no shortage of food over the holidays, and the food that is distributed directly to individuals can create trash and safety problems in the neighborhood.

When you donate to reputable organizations, you will be helping people like Ray the DJ. Ray was a client of Phoenix’s Human Service Campus. He was known as the tech man because he always had his system hooked up to play music when requested. When he wasn’t spinning tunes, he wanted to be left alone. He had a difficult time working with social workers because he is strong willed, and never felt like anyone truly cared about him. But things changed. He connected with a program on campus that provided him with mental health assistance. Eventually, Ray received a housing voucher and now spends his days setting up new technology for his music.  Like other homeless in our community, he needed #MoreThanAMeal.

You can help curb homelessness by donating to any of these programs:

When you make a donation you will be helping feed, clothe, house and heal those in need.

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