Homeless Care Package Guide: By Charlie Linford
What To Put In A Homeless Care Package
Putting together a homeless care package for disadvantaged people in your community? Amazing – I’d love to help you fill it with the items that will make the biggest difference.
I’ve created this list of products to help guide you on your charitable mission. You don’t have to include them all – but you’ll get a sense of which products are useful and which ones to avoid.
- Soft breakfast or protein bars
- Tinned tuna
- Beef jerky
- Pre-packed cracker snacks
- Trail mix
- Dried fruit
- Bottled water
- Gum or mints
Ready to eat, non-perishable food items are the best option for your care kit. Many homeless individuals can get a hot meal at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. However, they need high-carb and protein snacks like these to help them power through the day.
First Aid Items
- Antibacterial wipes
- Gauze bandage
- Covid self-test kit
- Antiseptic cream
Life on the streets takes its toll on the body. Simple conditions can escalate into more serious problems. Cleaning and dressing wounds can make a huge difference and prevent dangerous infections.
The homeless population often slips through the welfare net. This has certainly been the case in relation to the Covid 19 pandemic. Adding a Covid self-test kit (like this one) to your care pack will put them in control of their own wellbeing.
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Nail clippers
- Petroleum jelly
- Hairbrush or comb
- No-rinse soap
- Feminine hygiene products
Many towns have a homeless shelter or other charitable organization. They give homeless people access to showers, soap, and towels. The personal hygiene products I’ve picked are perfect for the occasions when they can’t get to one of those places. They can freshen up just about anywhere with wet wipes and no-rinse soap (like this).
Avoid products containing alcohol as those suffering from alcohol addiction can misuse them. I’ve heard of people mixing hand sanitizer with cola – which is extremely dangerous. Check product packaging if you’re unsure.
- Beanie hat
- Thermal socks
- Warm gloves
- Cozy blanket
- Tarp or rain poncho
- Foil blanket
Homeless individuals who are constantly outside can feel cold in relatively warm weather. Churches and shelters frequently hand out jackets and other clothing. Yet, they generally aren’t able to meet demand when it comes to socks, gloves, and hats.
- Sewing kit
- Friendly letter
- Guide to local resources
- Coffee shop or grocery store gift card
There are many other handy items you can include in your care packages. With limited access to new clothing, a sewing kit (like this) can prolong the life of clothes they rely on to stay warm.
People in the homeless community can often feel like they’re invisible to the rest of the world. The simple act of including a handwritten note in your care package reminds them people care. Write an inspirational message and add some practical information about local homeless resources.
A gift card for a local store or coffee shop (like this) is another nice touch to consider. They’ll get to sit indoors for a while, and it will break up their day. Feel free to add any other thoughtful items you can think of to make life on the street that little bit easier.
How To Pack A Homeless Care Package
Now you have a great idea of what to include in your homeless care kit, it’s time to think about the best way to package it. Many homeless people travel light and don’t have anywhere to store things. This makes large boxes or hampers impractical.
What can you use instead?
A waterproof bag (like this one) would be the best solution. It gives them a way to keep their possessions dry and will be useful in the long term. Drawstring bags are a budget-friendly alternative that you can buy in bulk (as seen here).
I also recommend purchasing 2 ziplock bags for each care package. Place food items in one and toiletries in the other. This keeps everything organized and stops damage in the event a tube of toothpaste pops open.
Ready-Made Homeless Care Packages
You can still make a difference if you don’t have the time to create your own custom care packages. You can buy pre-made welfare kits online (like this homeless care package bundle).
Each pack contains a backpack, warm accessories, and assorted hygiene items. These items alone would make a homeless person’s life more comfortable. You can also use these pre-made packs as a starting point, adding extra items from this list.
Charlie F. Linford