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Source: iStock

Formerly Homeless Share What Aid Was Most Helpful to Them

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According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there were over 500,000 homeless Americans on a given night in 2018. You might not even know the person next to you on public transportation or in line for fast food is somebody without reliable access to shelter, hygiene, and a place to prepare meals. It seems like such a big problem that there's nothing you can do, but ask anyone who is or has been homeless and they will tell you some of the most helpful aid they received was from individuals who extended themselves in personal ways.

A recent Ask Reddit thread asked people who were homeless for a period in their lives to share the best things people did for them during that period. You'd be surprised how meaningful even small gestures can be.

Rain gear

A user cutsjuju, who is no longer homeless, says the best thing anyone gave him was "an old, baggy waterproof jacket with a big hood. It had many pockets too." Even though it was a little bulky to carry around, it was "very useful" — so much so, it's still in his possession now that he has a place, a job, and medication to manage his mental illness.