Standing in a blustery, cold northern wind on a median at a busy intersection, he held the hand-lettered sign to his chest for drivers in the turn lane to see.
“Lost job. Have family to feed. Can you help?”
He was slightly unkept, but certainly not grungy-looking. His hair, his clothes, his clean-shaven face implied that he still had access to some grooming. But the weary look on his face and the sign indicated, whether honestly or not, that he had needs.
This man was among those seen recently around the city who are looking for assistance from others who will provide it. In many instances, the individual appears in more dire straits.
Sometimes, the person displays a sign that notes he, or she, “will work for food.” Others might be looking for clothing, blankets, or food. Some beg for money.
They may be labeled beggars. They often are referred to as panhandlers. Some just call them needy.
While some people give them anything from loose change to dollars, others offer them food. I’ve known many people who say they have offered to drive them to a cafe or store where they could buy them food, and others who have brought sacks of food to them.
But there also are representatives of churches, organizations and local law enforcement who’ve given them a ride to shelters or food banks.
Oklahoma City has its share of homeless individuals, as well as a segment of its residents that live below the poverty level and others who are in need of assistance. There is a concentrated effort to help these people. If it within your means and your heart to do so, you can help.
If that’s what you would like to do during this holiday season, go to http://knowit.newsok.com/homless-oklahoma and http://knowit.newsok.com/charity-oklahoma to see how you can help.