As a homeless person living at the shelter during 2019, it quickly became evident to me that many items that were being donated to the homeless just made life harder.

Here are a few things to stop donating and what you can donate instead.

  • ”Postage stamp” blankets. They sell these things by the boatload at Walmart, they’re soft, cute and utterly worthless as a blanket for an adult. Homeless people are issued one blanket a day. So keep these tiny things for your poodle and donate a decent blanket.
  • ”Family” or “economy” sized toiletries. Homeless life is nomadic by nature. One must take their belongings with them to avoid loss or theft. Soaps, shampoos, shaving cream and lotion in giant containers get tossed after one use. Donate travel-sized toiletries instead, and lots of them, please.
  • Coats or jackets with broken zippers. This is just cruel; stop doing this. Homeless people are unlikely to be able to able pay for tailoring, they don’t get to rummage through donations and there are few things worse than trying to stay warm on a 10-degree day with an icy wind blowing your jacket open. Donate coats and jackets that function properly, please.

More than 120 homeless people died last year, and nearly 100 of those deaths had to do with exposure.

Thank you so much to all, and remember, we are still your neighbors.

Kip Yost, Salt Lake City