Just Say Hello aims to increase awareness to factors contributing to homelessness

“We will be volunteering in homeless camps and shelters around the U.S. and encouraging other people to join us, get involved, and “just say hello.”-Jennifer Underwood, Tour Diary of the Just Say Hello Tour website.

Jennifer Underwood, a social services case worker from Seattle, and her daughter, are traveling the country bringing awareness to the issue of homelessness in America. In early July they started their four month trek around the country in coordination with Facing Homelessness to tell the stories of the real people affected by this epidemic.

“There’s definitely a myriad of reasons why people are homeless.”

Jennifer Underwood took some time to talk to KGNU’s Nikki Kayser about the issues surrounding homelessness in America and her tour to bring awareness to this problem. Underwood discusses how people find themselves in some of these hard situations without homes and how just being homeless can contribute to keeping a person homeless even if they are trying to get out of the cycle.

As she brings awareness to these issues, Underwood hopes to engage the general population in helping in any small way they can, including just saying hello to the homeless people near where they live or work. Simply saying hello can take away the anonymity of homeless people so they become real to the people who pass by them every day. On her website is a place to tell the story once a person does say hello to a homeless person in their town.

“Our Love Meter, which is our place that we are trying to get people to say that they’ve just said hello. It is a counter on our site that allows people to enter in their name and email address and just a little bit of their story.”

People can follow the Underwoods as they travel at the Just Say Hello Tour blog, the Facebook page, and on Instagram. The public can help fund the donations of the Just Say Hello Tour at their Go Fund Me page.