5 ways to support Birmingham’s homeless population now

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non profit
Meal prep at the Firehouse Shelter. Photo via Firehouse Shelter on Facebook

With the recent freezing conditions and snowfall, you may be wondering how you can help Birmingham’s homeless population now. There are many amazing non-profits in our city providing essential services to vulnerable folks in our community. Here are five organizations to support to make a direct impact.

We ❤️ local and want to support you. If you own a local business, please add your information to our local business or our non-profit directory. It's where we will look first for up-to-date and relevant information on how the Birmingham community can support you right now.

*Note: Boutwell Auditorium will be open all day, Tuesday, Feb. 16, serving as a warming station for anyone seeking shelter from the snowy conditions, according to the City of Birmingham.
Donations can be made until 4PM. They are asking for oranges, bananas, muffins, honeybuns, trail mix, Nutri-Grain bars and other individually wrapped snacks.
The address is 1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203.

1. Be a Blessing Birmingham

Non profit
An eye-opening statistic. Photo via Be a Blessing Birmingham on Facebook

Be A Blessing Birmingham was created to “bring awareness to and garner community support to help make things better for the large homeless population.”

In addition to their monthly “Blessing Days” where they distribute hygiene kits and other essential items to the homeless community in downtown Birmingham, they also host Volunteer Work Days where you can help sort and pack donations for Blessing Day.

Their next Volunteer Work Day is this Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 12-2PM at Green Springs Mini Storage (626 Robert Jemison Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209). You can also drop off donations at this time.

If you’re not able to volunteer, check their site for items to donate. They have more than 10 other drop-off locations around Birmingham, as well as an Amazon Wish List you can purchase from directly.

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2. Firehouse Ministries

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The newly completed Firehouse Shelter. Photo via Firehouse Shelter on Facebook

Firehouse Ministries’ mission is “to provide to homeless men, ages 18 and older, in the Birmingham Area a nurturing and caring environment offering supportive services that break the cycle of homelessness and empower individuals to achieve their highest potential.”

Their services include an Emergency Shelter Operation, a Day Shelter, Meals Service, Clothes Closet and more. Visit their site to find out how and what to donate, plus more ways to get involved.

3. First Light

non profit
The local group, Dvyne Resilience lead by Kim Croom, brought in-kind and cash donations to support First Light’s daily operations. Photo via First Light on Facebook

First Light’s mission is to provide homeless women and their children “a safe and nurturing community, to encourage them to maintain dignity, to find hope, to seek opportunity, and to grow spiritually, thereby achieving their full potential.”

They offer an Emergency Shelter as well as an Overflow Emergency Shelter where they provide beds, lockers, bathrooms, laundry facilities and the essentials for women in need on any given night. They also have a Rapid Rehousing program and more long-term housing solutions for those in need.

There are countless ways to support them including advocacy, volunteering and the most impactful: donating directly or donating items from their wish list.

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4. The Salvation Army of Greater Birmingham

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Drive thru grocery pick up at Birmingham Salvation Army from earlier this year. Photo via Birmingham Salvation Army on Facebook

The Salvation Army of Greater Birmingham serves men, women, children, families and veterans in one building. They offer emergency services that include food, shelter, clothing and counseling.

If you or someone you know is in need of immediate help or shelter, call them (205.328.2420) or visit The Salvation Army Social Services Building (2015 26th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35234).

There are a few ways to donate including donating financially, donating food and donating goods and clothing.

5. Bridge Ministries

non profit
Members of the Cathedral Church of the Advent volunteering to deliver food for the Southside Baptist food pantry. Photo via Bridge Ministries on Facebook

Bridge Ministries’ mission is to “prevent homelessness by providing direct emergency assistance to at-risk individuals and families in the greater Birmingham area.”

Their services include homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, veteran assistance, rent assistance, food access and more.

Donate directly via their PayPal to make an impact. Other ways to support them include volunteering your time. Read more on the ways to volunteer here.

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Support for our homeless community shouldn’t just come during the colder months. Consider setting up a recurring donation to one of these non-profits, and make sure you’re following them on social to stay updated on their efforts in the Birmingham community.

Are you a local Birmingham business or nonprofit in need of support right now? Fill out the forms below. We’ll be pulling information for future guides like this one.

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Hannah Chambley
Most likely Instagrammin’ the Birmingham skyline, behind the camera shooting photos or writing stories (with too many puns) for Bham Now.
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