AdviceCrafts

Crafting Ideas for Working With the Homeless

I work with a ministry that has a resource center for the homeless in our city. At this place, the homeless can get information on resources available to them, receive mail, get a snack, fellowship with each other, take part in art therapy, anger management, or other classes, etc. I was asked to do crafts with them once a month. I've done lots of crafts with kids and teens, but I had no idea how hard it would be coming up with practical ideas for homeless folks. I need ideas that are useful, and would actually be something that wouldn't add to their clutter (since they don't have a home). So far, we've done Valentine's cards, washer necklaces & key chains, stress balls, and lanyards (plastic lacing, aka gimp).

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Our budget is kinda limited so I've used a lot of my old supplies and others there have bought stuff. I just can't think of much. There are a couple of things I have thought of, but haven't tried myself yet (will definitely need to figure out before hand). Like I said, it needs to be stuff that isn't something that will just be clutter in the life of someone who has to carry most of their stuff with them or only have a tub to put their things in at a shelter. Also, a great deal of those who've joined me have been guys, so that's something to keep in mind. Thanks for any advise!

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June 10, 20191 found this helpful

Bookmarks, eyeglass case, potholders

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June 11, 20190 found this helpful

Thanks... I printed up some "adult coloring" bookmarks (because adult coloring is popular there) but forgot to take them :( I'll probably drop them by or send them with a friend soon. I used to make string bookmarks with beads a long time ago... might have to bring that, or make some fabric ones with some batting to make them stiff.

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June 14, 20191 found this helpful

Knitting scarves and hats can be great, they can use their crafts in the cold. Make decorated canvas bags with them, they will have somewhere to keep their clutter. Can you make socks? Any other clothing item or useful items?

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June 26, 20190 found this helpful

I can't knit but can do some basic crochet. Might can do some come winter months. We've had a lot of hand-made scarves donated and truthfully a lot get thrown out because no one wants them (and let's just say they're not the best color patterns... look like scrap that's been stuck together). The men like fleece scarves that are basically just a long strip of fleece with the ends cut up.
I like the canvas bags idea if I can get some donated. I don't know how to make socks... that'd be nice though, since socks are one of the most needed things.

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I haven't used a sewing machine since 7th Grade Home-Ec class... though I've wanted to re-learn ever since. It'd be neat if we could get some machines donated. Our resource center is moving to a new, larger building but won't open 'til November. Til then, we're in a temporary place with little extra space to store extra stuff. If I figure out sewing machine stuff, it'll probably have to wait til next year (or ask for end-of year donations).
Thanks for the ideas!

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June 14, 20191 found this helpful

It should be useful and pretty to give them a good feeling.

Those string backpacks hold a lot and can be made pretty with scraps for example.

Hats and mittens are always winners and can be made with scrap fleece or yarn or old sweaters.

Blessings to your good heart for doing this!

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June 14, 20191 found this helpful

PS, these are easy for people with all skill levels and can be hand stitched or machine made if you have that available to you.

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Hand stitched can actually be both therapeutic AND useful!

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