Homelessness implies a state of not having a fixed, regular, and adequate place to live in. It may manifest in various ways, such as sleeping rough on the streets, remaining at emergency shelters or transitional housing, or residing temporarily in cars or abandoned buildings. The January 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count shows that 582,462 people are experiencing homelessness across America. This is roughly 18 out of every 10,000 people. The overwhelming majority (72 percent) were individual adults. A remarkable 28 percent were people living in families with children. While homelessness truly is an issue riddled with many contributing factors, many organizations and charities are stepping up to make a difference in these people’s lives. Here are 15 of them:
The NCH was founded in 1982 by a group of activists committed to ending homelessness in America. It emerged as a non-profit organization with a mission to prevent and eradicate homelessness through advocacy, education, and public policy analysis. Since its inception, NCH has been at the forefront of fighting for policies and programs aimed at providing sustainable housing solutions.
One example highlighting NCH’s impact was its involvement in The McKinney-Vento Act—a landmark legislation enacted by Congress in 1987. The law provided funding for emergency shelters, transitional housing solutions, healthcare services, rehabilitation programs, and grants to prevent eviction.
If you wish to contribute or get involved with NCH’s noble cause, you can make one-time or monthly payments directly through the website. Other ways to get involved include volunteering, contributing important items such as food, clothing, household goods, survival kits, etc. You can also stay informed about homelessness-related policies in your area/state/country and engage with advocacy campaigns organized by NCH.
#2. Save the Family
Established in 1988, Save the Family is committed to providing vital resources and support to families experiencing homelessness. Their unwavering dedication has transformed countless lives and inspired hope within communities. Recognizing that stable families are essential for breaking cycles of homelessness, this non-profit organization set out to create a comprehensive approach focused on supportive services and affordable housing solutions.
Save the Family adopts a holistic approach to help families transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Their multi-tiered programs consist of emergency shelter services, long-term transitional housing, case management, life skills training, employment assistance, parenting classes, and access to education and healthcare.
To contribute to Save the Family’s valuable efforts, you can donate directly through their website. You can choose either one-time or monthly payments. If you prefer a one-time donation, you can send money for two families’ access to transportation, provide one month of housing services for a family who is homeless, or one year of after-school and summer programs for two kids.
Other ways to contribute include volunteering, joining a corporate partnership program, giving while you shop, buying gift certificates for families, etc.
Streetwise was established in Chicago in 1992 with the goal of providing economic opportunities for people experiencing homelessness or struggling to secure stable employment. Over the years, it has become one of the city’s most prominent and respected social enterprises.
Streetwise combines advocacy, education, and direct assistance to support individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Their core program involves publishing a newspaper called “StreetWise,” which provides essential income-generating opportunities for those facing housing instability. The organization offers training and support for vendors selling this publication, empowering them to gain new skills, rebuild their lives, and become financially self-sufficient.
To continue facilitating positive change within vulnerable communities across Chicago, Streetwise relies on support from compassionate individuals and organizations. You can donate directly through the website via credit card, contribute via a donor-advised fund, mail a check, send a donation via phone, or gift stock or securities. Alternatively, you can buy goods from StreetWise vendors.
#4. DePaul USA
DePaul USA is a national homeless services non-profit inspired by Vincentian values. DePaul USA is an affiliate of the international homelessness services organization Depaul International Group. Since 2009, when it opened its first program in Philadelphia, DePaul now operates 21 programs across 9 U.S. cities.
DePaul USA provides an array of homeless services, including transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, affordable housing, day centers, and health clinics. A remarkable illustration of DePaul USA’s impact is the “Dax Program” in Atlanta. The Dax Program provides vital resources like short-term residential care combined with medical treatment for people experiencing homelessness who are living with HIV/AIDS.
If you want to contribute to DePaul’s mission, send donations directly through their website (one-time or recurring). Alternatively, you can help by volunteering, organizing and attending events, serving food, etc., or joining partnerships.
#5. Covenant House
Covenant House is a large, non-profit organization in the Americas whose scope includes offering safe shelter and holistic care for youth at age 12-24 who are homeless and human trafficking survivors. Since its inception in 1972, Covenant house has cared for over 1.5 million young people experiencing homelessness and human trafficking survivors–one youth at a time.
Covenant House provides food, clothing, safety, and medical and mental health care. And they help young people experiencing homelessness to advance their goals and achieve sustainable independence with education, job readiness, and career pathways programs.
To contribute to Covenant’s House mission, make donations directly through the website via credit card, bank transfer, or PayPal (one-time or monthly). Interestingly, you can also send money by mail or by phone. Alternatively, you can also attend their events or establish a corporate partnership.
#6. Salvation Army
The Salvation Army was established in 1865 by William Booth and his wife, Catherine. Deeply rooted in Christian beliefs, its mission is centered on evangelical work as well as serving those suffering from poverty, addiction, or homelessness without regard to race, ethnicity, or gender.
The organization reports a worldwide membership of over 1.7 million, comprising soldiers, officers, and adherents who are collectively known as Salvationists. The Salvation Army provides a wide range of services to those in need, including food pantries, homeless shelters, spiritual healing, job training, etc.
The generosity of individuals and communities is crucial in sustaining the work of The Salvation Army. To support them, you can donate directly through the website via credit card, bank transfer, or Apple Pay. Other ways to give include donating by phone or mail, contributing via donor-advised funds, making stock or security transfers, or contributing via planned or federal campaign matching gifts.
Founded in 1980, CCH is a non-profit advocacy organization that strives to prevent and end homelessness through education, public policy advocacy, and direct services. CCH leads strategic campaigns, community outreach, and public policy initiatives that target the lack of affordable housing in metropolitan Chicago and across Illinois.
One notable example highlighting the impact made by CCH involves their successful advocacy work leading to groundbreaking legislative change in 2013. Illinois Bill of Rights for the Homeless Act (HBOR) was established in Illinois thanks partly to efforts by CCH volunteers working alongside legislators. This bill ensures the protection of basic civil rights for people who are homeless while affirming their dignity.
If you want to support CCH’s mission, you can make direct contributions via credit card or bank account through the website. Besides, you can join a matching gift program, donate your stocks, advocate public policies, volunteer, or make in-kind donations (food, clothes, etc.).
#8. Harvest Home
Harvest Home is actually a non-profit organization that helps pregnant women who are homeless and their children. They provide housing, support as well as programs for preparing them to be great mothers. LA County Health Department estimates that 5,000 women are made homeless each year during some point of pregnancy.
Harvest Home’s primary mission is to break the cycle of homelessness by offering comprehensive support services to those in need. The organization provides immediate relief through emergency shelters, hot meals, and basic necessities such as clothing and personal hygiene items.
Harvest Home relies on the generous support of individuals, communities, and corporate sponsors to fuel their impactful work. You can make one-time, monthly, or annual payments directly through the website via credit card, PayPal, or Apple Pay. Besides, you can donate stocks, volunteer, or give items from an Amazon wishlist.
#9. StandUp for Kids
StandUp for Kids is a remarkable charity organization that focuses on helping and supporting homeless and at-risk youth across the United States. Founded in 1990, StandUp for Kids has been working tirelessly to improve the lives of young people without a stable place to call home.
The core focus of StandUp for Kids is to provide vital resources, support, and guidance to homeless. Their work mainly revolves around street outreach programs, mentoring, counseling, educational assistance, and life-skills training. By directly interacting with youth who are homeless on the streets, StandUp for Kids forms strong relationships built on trust and understanding.
To support StandUp for Kids’ mission of assisting young people facing homelessness or being at risk thereof, you can donate directly through the website via credit card, send a check via mail, give stocks, a legacy, or in-kind. Alternatively, you can volunteer, sign up for their newsletter, start a program in a new location, or serve on their board.
#10. Building Changes
Building Changes is a non-profit organization that aims to advance equitable systems and policies that prevent and end homelessness. Their work includes providing direct support services such as housing assistance, case management, education support, employment assistance, counseling, and access to healthcare.
One of the key areas in which Building Changes focuses its efforts is by helping homeless, as they believe that every young person deserves a safe, stable, and supportive place to call home. Besides, they administer the Washington Youth & Families Fund (WYFF), which has already regranted $62.7 million for their purpose.
If you want to support Building Changes’ crucial work in preventing and ending homelessness in Washington state, you can make a donation directly through the website via credit card, PayPal, on Venmo. Other ways to give include donating stocks, making workplace/matching gifts, in-kind donations, in honor/memory of tribute gifts, or donating while you shop with Amazon Smile.
#11. Family Promise
Family Promise is a national, non-profit organization in the U.S. It was created by Karen Olson in 1988 with the purpose of primarily serving families with children who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. They have helped more than 1 million family members since inception.
With Family Promise, neighbors build relationships that bring together existing resources to fulfill the mission. Family Promise adopts a unique approach that harnesses the power of local communities by collaborating with religious organizations, civic groups, and an extensive network of volunteers.
You can donate directly via credit card through the website to contribute to their efforts. Interestingly, you can also donate cryptocurrency, give stocks, send matching gifts, donate via a donor-advised fund or bank transfer, or support a local affiliate.
#12. Abode Services
Abode Services is a remarkable charity organization specializing in providing help and support to individuals experiencing homelessness. Founded in 1989, Abode is dedicated to the mission of ending homelessness by assisting individuals and families in securing stable housing.
The work done by Abode Services encompasses a range of comprehensive programs that address the various needs of those experiencing homelessness. They offer emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing services, and case management assistance. Abode’s approach focuses on providing immediate shelter and offering long-term solutions that empower individuals to regain stability and rebuild their lives.
To further support the laudable efforts of Abode Services, you can donate via credit card directly through the website. Other ways to give include legacy or community giving, corporate giving, sponsoring Abode events, joining monthly giving program Building Blocks, donating goods, and signing up for their newsletter.
#13. Los Angeles Mission
The Los Angeles Mission was established in 1936 during the Great Depression. Its primary aim was to provide vital services such as food and shelter for displaced individuals desperately seeking assistance. Today, the mission’s core focus is providing immediate relief and long-term rehabilitation for those battling homelessness or addiction.
According to their website, 69,144 people in Los Angeles County are currently experiencing homelessness. So, the Mission is aiming to breaks this cycle of homelessness. They want to stabilize people in a safe and spiritual environment, where they can get support.
If you want to contribute to their efforts, consider donating directly through the website. Alternatively, you can make monthly giving, matching gifts, donate food, clothing, and goods, make gifts in wills & trusts, or donate stocks or even vehicles. Besides, you can also partner your business with Los Angeles Mission through corporate sponsorship.
U.S.VETS is the country’s largest veteran-specific non-profit housing and service provider, with ten sites in five states (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and TX) and the District of Columbia. Since 1993, U.S.VETS has engaged over 135,000 veterans, provided residential services to nearly 50,000 veterans, and placed 13,000 veterans into jobs.
U.S.VETS’s mission is the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development, and comprehensive support. They operate transitional housing programs that provide temporary shelter and support services while assisting veterans in securing permanent housing solutions.
There are multiple ways individuals can contribute to U.S.VETS’ vital work. You can donate via credit card or bank transfer directly through the website. Besides, you can mail a gift, donate stocks, contribute via donor-advised funds, donate your vehicle, or make matching gifts.
The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) is a non-profit organization providing Southern Nevada’s homeless with help, hope, and the support needed to rebuild their lives for over 20 years. NPHY is the most comprehensive service provider for the thousands of young people experiencing homelessness in the Las Vegas Valley community.
Young people in NPHY’s wraparound programs stabilize their lives and get immediate help along with a safe and supportive setting in exchange for providing them a path to self-sufficiency. NPHY’s individualized, holistic services empower young people to ultimately achieve long-term independence while they shape the futures they want for themselves.
Supporting NPHY’s mission is crucial in ensuring that they can continue their vital work assisting youth who are homeless. You can make one-time, monthly, quarterly, or annual donations through a website via credit/debit card, PayPal, or Apple Pay. NPHY often requires donated items such as clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, and non-perishable food items.