Many homeless Americans go months without hearing their own name out loud.
Living on the street is a traumatic and isolating experience, made worse by the fact that many people who are unsheltered have fewer daily social interactions, or are often altogether ignored by pedestrians and people passing by. Many of our unhoused neighbors in New York have shared that something as simple as a friendly “hello” or “good morning” can help them feel seen.
Learning someone's name is a helpful way to make a humanizing connection. Before asking someone for their name, offer yours first to help establish a sense of trust. Believe it or not, just a little bit of normalcy can go a long way for people who are going through a challenging time.