Jan 9, 2010 7:25 AM by Matt Stafford

Doing more harm than good?

It's a calling many have heard lately.

"It's been wrestling on me, Brother Billy Williams' heart, my wife's heart," says Howard Veasley who came with friends to bring items to some local homeless people. "That's somebody's mother, somebody's father, somebody's son, somebody's daughter that's in need out here in this freezing weather, that's cold."

It's popping up more frequently in Southern Colorado, people stopping at homeless camps to help out, and it hasn't taken too much to give.

"They only want small things," Veasley says.

"I think it's great that the level of consciousness about homelessness is rising in the community, that's incredible," explains local homeless advocate Bob Holmes.

Holmes thinks the distribution of help could be better.

Those working with the homeless say the giving nature is not a problem; it's just sometimes the method.

"Homeless people tell us that they have too much," Holmes says. "It's going to waste, it's turning into garbage. We have a homeless guy that's just rented his second storage shelter, and he's storing blankets and tents and sleeping bags." The extra donations also leave trash in areas with few clean up services.

Usually, when you try to accomplish a goal, you make a plan. Locally, people helping the homeless are just trying to get on the same page. So the help continues, with several local organization pooling resources to help. Holmes says your help goes further when joined with others.

"Maybe we can give them hope to be able to endure it, to be able to get back on their feet," Veasley says.

For many its not what or how they give, but just that they do.

Hopefully a little planning can add the maximum effect.If you would like to make a donation to a local group working with the homeless, Holmes recommends one of these organizations:

Colorado Springs Rescue Mission
Catholic Ministries
Homeward Pikes Peak


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