Helping the Homeless through the cold

By January 3, 2019Social Investment
Helping the homeless

Now that the new year has begun, and the cold weather is setting in, why not make one of your new year’s resolutions to give back more! Homelessness is increasing and during the winter months, their lives are in even more danger.

Throughout the year 2018, many companies donated to charities to help the homeless. Pledging to get as many people off the streets as possible, but this isn’t an easy feat.

Air BnB

Airbnb calls San Fransico it’s home, and yet so do roughly 6,200-6,800 homeless people every given night. The residents in San Fran are aware of the problem and are trying to fix it by putting into place a new law called ‘Proposition C’. Which imposes an additional tax on large San Francisco companies to generate an estimated $300 million a year for expanded homelessness programmes.

Proposition C narrowly passed its vote, but without having over two-thirds of the majority, negotiations could carry on for a couple of years. But Airbnb’s CEO, Daniel Lurie, couldn’t wait that long and decided to donate a massive $5 million to the cause. This donation will be spread over three years. In their blog post about the commitment, they said “We are working with a coalition of experts from across government, community organizations and other private sector entities to ensure these funds are directed to the most pressing and urgent needs.”.

Coca-Cola donates water

Here in the cold parts of Europe, you think of the most dangerous months for the homeless to be the freezing cold winter. However, as Coca-Cola points out, the high temperatures of summers can be just as extreme. Over the last few years, we’ve been experiencing extreme heatwaves, that are becoming worse each year.

Ireland and Northern Ireland Coca-Cola HBC joined the #HomelessHydration campaign in 2018 and donated some of its Deep RiverRock water bottles to be given out to the homeless. They donated pallets to ICHH group, Dublin Simon Community, and Limerick’s Simon Community. In total, an amazing 5,184 bottles were donated.

BP uses its energy

On World Homeless Day 2018 the Denver headquarters of BP announced that they would be donating $350,000 which would cover the electric and gas cost for local homeless shelters for 12 months.

This is a great use of resources, offer something that every shelter needs and taking that cost away. The Mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock said that the donation was a great way to allow the shelters to spend the money they normally would on these facilities on “more and better services that empower shelter guests out of homelessness.”

In Denver, more than 1,700 people stay in shelters on an average night. The Denver Rescue Mission CEO & President, Brad Meuli, said “Thousands of people in need come through our Denver Rescue Mission facilities each day. Keeping the lights on and the rooms warm is just one of the things we do. This unique opportunity to partner with BP will make our funds go even further,”.

Starbucks joins Pearl Jam

The Starbucks Foundation joined forces with Pearl Jam in 2018 to raise money for their Home Fund, stating that they would match donations made to the cause through their Starbucks app up to a total of $500,000.

This campaign ran from the 31st July to 12th August, a month before Pearl Jams Home Fund, which supported a range of organisations in King County, Washington. These organisations all address unsheltered families and children living on the streets.

Disney offer job training

A California based charity called Chrysalis ail is to aid low-income and homeless individuals to find and maintain employment. Disneyland Resort donated $600,000 to the cause which will be used to open a new facility in Anaheim and extend its reach.

As well as donating money, Disneyland Resort set up Disney VoluntEARS. These volunteers will give support and their industry expertise to help fortify peoples skills and increase their employability. Dinsey VoluntEARS held clothing drives for business casual clothing as well as hygiene kits to help get people started.

Sky Footwear

Everyone tends to get at least one pair of socks for Christmas, but how many of those socks give back?

This entrepreneurial idea offers a buy 1, give one to someone in need mentality. Sky Footwear was started by two American college students, who regularly volunteered at homeless shelters. They noticed how colourful, fancy socks were becoming a trend and how badly they a needed by the homeless community and decided to put these two things together.

Over the last year, they expanded their stock to have over 35 different styles and have donated over 12,000 (by September ‘18) to homeless shelters across America.


During these winter months, think about those less fortunate and see what you can do to help. Although winter isn’t the only time that the homeless need our help. We look forward to seeing what companies do this year as part of the CI to help those living on the street.

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