How to introduce yourself to your unhoused neighbors
People experiencing homelessness may often feel invisible. Even the simple act of acknowledgement can go a long way. When introducing yourself to one of your unhoused neighbors, start with a smile and a kind greeting. If you have something to offer, make room for the dignity of choice, honoring an individual’s own needs and preferences. Take care not to wake anyone who is sleeping, and if an interaction doesn’t feel quite right, there’s no need to force it.
Remove sunglasses if you’re wearing them, and meet someone on their physical level if they are sitting or lying down. Addressing someone by name is humanizing, but it may take time to earn trust. If you want to learn someone’s name, offer yours first. Making time for even a short conversation is a meaningful way to help someone feel seen and heard.