YOU are a difference maker.

You want to help people experiencing homelessness.
We want to help you do that.


Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to poverty, substance abuse and homelessness. We hope that doesn't discourage you from stepping up and stepping in, because the world needs you.

Here are some ideas to get you started. Some are just a click away. 


Increase your awareness.

When we say “homeless,” what image pops immediately to mind? Many people reply along these lines: “A man in his 50s, slovenly dressed in multiple layers, standing on a street corner, holding a sign.”


Here's what we want you to know:

homeless  ≠ panhandler.

In fact, panhandlers are a very small percentage of the homeless population, and typically, they are not the people coming to our shelters.

“You never know who you’re going to help. You never know when someone’s going to change.” – Marcus

Things you can do...

Be ready the next time you meet a panhandler.

Download our free tip sheet.

Follow UGM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn for daily reminders of the challenges and successes our guests are experiencing. Pray for the people you find there.

10 Ways You Can Help the Homeless

is full of practical ideas for exercising compassion.

Read now. >>

See the people - not the problem.


“We were just like them...I may be a bum and a drug addict now, but I was normal. I could be normal again.” - Sammy


It’s tempting to think of homelessness as a problem to be solved. It might be easier if it were. But if you get nothing else from this website, here’s the most important point: Homeless people are people first – not projects, not burdens, not lazy bums – but people. That has to be our starting point. Unless we realize from the get-go that we are much more alike than we are different, we can't really make much of an impact.


Live intentionally.

Just do what you normally do, but do it with a twist.


“What matters most to me is knowing that when I shop at the UGM Thrift Stores, my purchase supports life change for those in need.” - Jackie

Things you can do...

Link your Amazon Smile and Fred Meyer shopping accounts to benefit UGM. You shop as normal, and the relevant companies donate a percentage of your purchases to UGM.


Print or pick up some UGM service cards, tie them to a tube of lip balm or a soft granola bar, and carry a supply in your car or purse. Give them to the people you see on the street.

Donate & Shop

Go through your closets and cabinets regularly and donate your extra stuff to the UGM Thrift Stores, then shop there for the things you’re missing!

Build a relationship.

This is undoubtedly the opportunity with the biggest payoff. And the biggest risk. Meet our residents face to face. Engage in conversation. Become friends. Listen. Hear their stories. Share your own. We guarantee you will not leave the experience unchanged.



“I wanted to make my life count.”
- Shirley



Things you can do...

Bring or serve a meal

with your family or church group.

Contact one of our shelters. >>

Share your time and skills.

Whether you’re a student, a retiree or somewhere in between, there is a way you can partner with UGM to help people in need!
Sign up for a volunteer orientation. >>

Visit one of our facilities

to see how your support helps change lives. Call 509.535.8510 in Spokane and 208.665.4673 in Coeur d’Alene to request a tour.

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