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Have you ever had a terrible day and wished that someone would simply say something positive to you? I’ve been there. I bet you have too. We all know the feeling of how much better we feel when a stranger says something especially nice to us.
Now imagine if you were homeless, forced to live on the streets. That’s a really bad day.
Words of encouragement for a homeless person are more precious than gold. They make the human condition a little easier to handle and change lives for the better.
Every day, your choice of thoughts and words shape your outlook and how your day will flow. They also touch every human being you come in contact with. Which energy will you embrace today?
In this article, I will guide you through the purpose and importance of words of encouragement, discuss the incredible benefits, and give you ideas about what to say to people experiencing homelessness. I know you can do this, and you’ll be glad you did.
The Purpose of Helpful Words of Encouragement for a Homeless Person
Words of encouragement for a homeless person are fundamental to human kindness. I have to say, I’m always floored when someone comments about what a nice thing it is to give encouraging words to a homeless person. Why?
It shouldn’t be an extraordinary or random thing. It should be as common as drinking water. The abnormal behavior should be when people ignore the homeless or say hateful, ugly things to them. As a society, we’ve got this all backward.
We have the power to change our world, one soul at a time, until it spreads like wildfire around the globe. And to think, it all starts with the thoughts and energy we choose when we wake up every morning.
The Importance of Words of Encouragement for a Homeless Person
Once upon a time, I lived in Santa Monica, CA, where the homeless population was among the highest in the nation.
I watched as wealthy locals and tourists carried their Gucci bags in and out of big-name retail stores on the Promenade, even if it meant stepping over a homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk. The contrast was appalling.
I couldn’t take it, so I bought as many hamburgers as possible to hand out to the poor souls. They were thankful and blessed me, each and every one of them.
Then, I was warned that it was illegal to feed the homeless because it encouraged them to hang around. The city, locals, and tourists wanted them gone.
From the bottom of my heart, I cannot express how important it is to extend kind words of encouragement to the homeless. And when you see their eyes light up, you’ll understand what I mean.
So, let’s go further into the importance of words of encouragement for a homeless person.
It is important to give words of encouragement for a homeless person, because every person deserves respect as a matter of human dignity. Everyone’s existence is valid, and their lives have value. Their stories have value. Their experiences have value. They have value.
People often decide against showing respect to people experiencing homelessness because they assume that the person must have done something wrong to be in that place.
Or people think that the homeless are happy where they are because they don’t want to work and don’t want responsibilities. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard people say that out loud.
When I look at the homeless, I see my brother, a friend, or even me. I see someone’s baby girl or baby boy. I see someone’s mother or father, grandmother or grandfather, long lost relative, an ailing vet, or a kid who was bullied in school.
While others ignore them, scold them, scream at them, and harass them, I weep for them. They were once deeply loved by someone. They are human beings too.
In this day in age, where inflation has skyrocketed, housing costs have soared, and the cost of everything has gone bananas, many folks are living on the edge of being housed or homeless. It could be any of us. So, why does losing everything materially mean you lose respect too?
It’s because society judges us on what we have or do not have. This should not be the determining factor in whether or not a human being deserves respect.
With words of encouragement for a homeless person or many homeless people, we can turn it all around. We can leave a legacy of love behind just by speaking kind words to others.
These are a few reasons people should show respect to people experiencing homelessness:
It is important to give words of encouragement to the homeless because there is a certain level of connectedness that must happen between human beings and societies to satisfy that lost piece so many search for.
When we deny or refuse to connect to one another, the ugly monster called “Loneliness” steps in and fills the space. Loneliness increases the risk of mental health issues, stroke, heart disease, and suicide. Research studies show that loneliness raises the risk of premature death by 30%.
And the disconnect doesn’t just harm the homeless; it harms you too, because the denial or refusal to reach out leaves a gaping hole in your soul.
The Mayo Clinic states how people who give kindness live longer, healthier lives with a “sense of connectivity,” which can affect their moods, health, and relationships in the most incredible ways.
Humans need connections with one another, themselves, nature, and the world.
Gratitude and Remembering Where We Came From
It is important to give words of encouragement to people experiencing homelessness because it reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for and that we have so much to offer to those in need. Gratitude is the foundation of positive thinking, and it wields unimaginable power.
When we extend words of encouragement to the homeless, it acknowledges that we remember where we came from. We connect to others through this process because we can all identify with the commonalities we share.
Connectedness to others, remembering where we came from, and gratitude for all we have are interwoven.
It is important to give words of encouragement to the homeless because it literally saves lives. Encouraging words provide people experiencing homelessness with a sense of belonging, hope, and the will to continue living.
It makes them more resilient and improves their mental health. It makes them feel that someone really cares about them and prevents suicidal thoughts.
It can also save your life. Practicing kindness offers plenty of benefits for you.
Check out these benefits:
Armed with the knowledge of the purpose and importance of words of encouragement for a homeless person, it’s time to figure out what to say.
Take a look at the following helpful phrases and see if you can think of more. It’s time to shine!
41 Helpful Words of Encouragement for a Homeless Person
- Are you okay?
- I admire your strength and courage.
- You can get through this. Believe in your dreams.
- Your life is worth fighting for.
- Never give up on your dreams.
- Never give up on hope.
- Be kind to yourself.
- You have beautiful eyes.
- You are not alone.
- You are strong and intelligent.
- Everything changes, and this will too.
- What’s your favorite hobby?
- Believe in love. Believe in magic.
- I’ll be thinking of you.
- You are not forgotten.
- You are brave.
- I am proud of you.
- Good morning.
- Where are you from?
- What’s your name?
- How can I help?
- Everything is going to be okay.
- What’s your dog’s name?
- I hate that you’re going through this, but don’t give up.
- You are unique and special in your strength and endurance.
- Never forget where you’re going.
- Keep shining your light. The world sees it.
- I’d love to hear your story.
- I hope you have a great day.
- Is there anything you need?
- You have a beautiful smile.
- What special gifts do you have?
- Stay positive. It changes everything.
- A happier day will come. It could be today.
- The hardship you’re experiencing now does not define you.
- Your smile is contagious.
- You have such a great personality.
- Would you like to chat?
- Who is your favorite superhero?
- I really enjoy talking with you.
- Each challenge you face is just a stepping stone toward your dreams.
Final Thoughts on Words of Encouragement for a Homeless Person
Human kindness should be something we incorporate into our lives every day. With all of their life’s challenges, the homeless need words of encouragement as much as anyone… maybe more. Think what you might say if it was your best friend.
Give it a try. When you experience that one-on-one connection and see the look in their eyes, you will know you made the right choice.
Check out 65 Comforting Words of Encouragement for Hard Times for more ideas about what to say to the homeless or anyone else suffering in life, or down on their luck.
If you feel like giving up, here's a great motivational speech video to help you keep going and never surrender:
And if you want more inspirational words of encouragement, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 61 Words of Encouragement to Comfort Someone with Depression
- 35 Comforting Words of Encouragement for a Friend in Need
- 41 Words of Encouragement for Someone in Jail
Rain Story is an author and screenwriter. She is an alumna of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Kentucky. She earned two B.A.s and four years of graduate studies in literature, languages, and creative writing before personal tragedies pulled her away from her graduate work. She is also a Donaghey Scholar and fellow of the William G. Cooper, Jr. Honors Program in English.