Homeless Care Packages: Dos and Don’ts

Not all of us have the time to volunteer at homeless shelters every weekend, but what if I told you there was a quick and inexpensive way you can help a homeless person? You could do it right now after reading this blog.  If you read the title then you’ve guessed it: homeless care packages! 

Making homeless care packages is a great DIY way to help the homeless community. Here’s a guide on how to make them! 

General Tips


Homeless people do not have a lot of space to store things in, so use travel size or single-serve items that are easy to carry and store. 

Use a Ziploc bag with a zipper on it for your homeless care package. The Ziploc bags with the seal tend to stop sealing after a while. The ones with the zipper also act as a reusable bag for the homeless person to store things in after using the items you give them. 

Food Items 

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Non-perishable food items that are easy to eat are the best to put in homeless care packages! Here is a list of some options: 

  • Water Bottle 
  • Packaged Tuna 
  • Applesauce 
  • Raisins and other Dried Fruit 
  • Peanut Butter Cracker Packs 

Food items to avoid would be hard foods that need strong teeth and foods that are difficult to chew. Things like:

  • Nuts 
  • Gum 
  • Granola Bars 

Be sure to include utensils with food items that call for them! 


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Here is a general list of toiletries to include in your homeless care packages: 

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Bandages 
  • Wet Wipes (individually wrapped) 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Lotion (unscented) 
  • Nail Clipper 
  • Lip Balm 
  • Tissues 
  • Comb or Brush 

Here is a list of some toiletries to avoid putting in homeless care packages because they have alcohol in them (which is bad for potential addicts) or because they are offered in homeless shelters where they can shower: 

  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Mouth Wash
  • Soap

Keep in mind the different hygienic needs between men and women. Care packages for homeless men should include things like razors and other male hygiene products. Care packages for women should include pads and other female hygiene products. 

Also, toiletries in homeless care packages should be unscented because many people will be sensitive to the fragrances. 

Clothing Items 

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Did you know the number 1 most asked-for clothing item in homeless shelters is socks? Now you know! 

Here is a list of clothing items to include in your homeless care packages: 

  • Socks (thick, high quality, thermal, or wool are best)
  • Gloves (high quality) 
  • Reusable Face Mask 

Most clothing items should be avoided because it is hard to judge a person’s size. Also, many homeless shelters provide gently used clothing. 

Miscellaneous Items 

  • Written card with homeless shelters and homeless resources on it 
  • Flashlight 
  • First Aid Kit 
  • Hand Warmers 
  • Utensils 
  • Quarters for laundry 
  • Tarp 
  • Sewing Kit 

A handwritten card is so important. It shows that you care about this person and the resources you provide to them on that card will help them so much even after you have given them the care package. 

Your Turn

Homeless Care Packages via

Now that you’ve learned all about how to make homeless care packages, it’s time to make some! Rally up your family members or roommates and make a few to help the homeless community in your area. 

Make sure to go with a group when delivering homeless care packages. Tip: keep some extras in your car, so you have something to offer when you encounter someone in need during your daily outings!

Continue to follow our SEU Combats Homelessness campaign for more information and resources on how to help the homeless community in Austin, Texas! 

Follow us on Social Media!

Twitter: @seu_ch



Written by: Bianca I

Edited by: Nick M


Tags: Austin, Texas, Homeless, Homeless Care Package, DIY 

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