5 Organizations Providing Food & Shelter To Those In Need

Homelessness is a complicated problem that affects individuals and families all around the world. Luckily, countless groups are addressing this issue by providing the homeless with the support they need to get back on their feet. Here, in no particular order, are some organizations providing services to the less fortunate.

First up, at #1, we have Blanchet House. Located in downtown Portland, this nonprofit social services organization provides food, clothing, and housing programs to people in need. It collects and redistributes fresh, soon-to-expire food from restaurants, grocery stores, wholesalers, and bakeries around the city.

The organization operates two transitional shelter programs for men struggling with addiction, unemployment, mental health, and other barriers. The residents living in the Blanchet House in downtown Portland work in the Founders Cafe, preparing and serving dishes for the public. Those who want to get involved may volunteer and help distribute meals or sort and hand out clothing.

Taking the #2 spot is United Way of Utah County, which seeks to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities. Working to advance the common good by focusing on education, financial stability, and health, United Way partners with various other organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and Self-Help Homes, which provide affordable housing opportunities to individuals and families living in Utah.

Its Utah 2-1-1 helpline is a comprehensive source for community resources, providing individuals with appropriate referrals to available health and human services, such as housing and utility assistance, food pantries, legal aid, and more. The organization also runs Sub for Santa, a program that gives relief to families experiencing crisis or poverty during the holiday season.

Next up, at #3, we have Inn Churches, which provides shelter and practical support to the homeless and vulnerable. Its Food Hub intercepts surplus and unwanted food from partners across Bradford, sorting, storing, and redistributing it to people in need. The organization also provides pay-as-you-feel mini markets to community centers around the city, enabling people to shop for fresh fruit and vegetables at whatever price they can afford.

Inn Churches' Winter Shelter provides emergency bed spaces and meals for people who are homeless during the coldest months of the year. The organization actively supports guests who have visited the shelter by helping them access the services they need in order to move from the street into more sustainable housing.

Next, at #4, is Oxfam India, an organization committed to fighting discrimination and helping marginalized communities pull themselves out of inequality and injustice. When a crisis or disaster occurs, the organization works on-ground to provide those affected and the most vulnerable with access to shelter, clean water, food, and livelihood support.

Because millions of people in India face discrimination on the basis of their gender, caste, and economic backgrounds, the organization also amplifies the voices of marginalized groups by engaging with active citizens to support their demands for equality and accountability from those in power. Oxfam India's work also focuses on ensuring that everyone has access to quality and affordable healthcare and education.

Finally, at #5, we have JOURNEYS, a non-profit agency that provides both shelter and social services to individuals and families in north and northwestern suburban Cook County. Its HOPE Center provides the homeless with a variety of free services, including case management, job and mental health counseling, and healthcare and legal referrals.

The agency's Pathways Housing Readiness Program guides individuals and families toward permanent housing solutions. Once housed, the clinical team provides clients with the necessary support and counseling to enable them to reach their goals. Among its other services is the PADS Emergency Shelter Program, which provides hospitality, food, and overnight lodging to those who need it.