The Smoke Signal

Don’t Shame, Start Helping

Eleanor Tran, Journalist

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The issue of homelessness is prevalent across the country and world. However, it’s not often that you see a homeless person in need around Ripon. As high schoolers, it’s important to try and gather experiences of what the real world is like before becoming independent adults.

The most common option available to students is volunteering at soup kitchens to feed and serve the homeless. Although encouraged, you don’t need to do it often to make an impact in your community and their lives. Junior Maika West helps the homeless at least once a month and encourages others to do the same.

Maika West”

— Treat them like a human being and remember these people have feelings too, so leave a positive impact on them.

“I think people should volunteer to help those who aren’t as fortunate as much as you can. You don’t need to do it a lot, but every bit might help someone along the way and help them to stay positive,” West said.

As a society, we often neglect homeless people due to the stigma of their decisions that led them to be homeless in the first place. However, it’s necessary that we put aside that stereotype and treat as we would treat a loved one.

“I’d say the small things can impact people the most. You don’t have to give them money, but treat them like a human being and remember these people have feelings too, so leave a positive impact on them,” West said.

Another easy and convenient way to help the homeless is by making care packages filled with everyday toiletries and snacks.

“You can fill them with granola bars, bottled water, fresh socks, or sweatshirts. It makes more sense than giving them money because you know these are things they need,” junior Evan Johnson said.

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