When you donate zakat, then this zakat should be paid in cash according to the practice of the Prophet (Sal’lallaho Elayhi Wasal’lam) and his companions and the most authentic sayings of the scholars. It is not our business or the concern of the donor how the person above uses the cash; whether he/she uses it for shelter, food, debts and so forth, is entirely up to the recipient. The most important thing is to ensure he/she falls into one of the categories mentioned in the verse above. This is where Unit 4 Humanity comes in; we ensure your donations go to the people who fall into the categories mentioned above.
There is an exception to the above rule of giving cash and that is if the one who falls into one of the categories mentioned above is insane, has a mental illness, a child, or you feel he or she may squander the wealth foolishly. In such a case, it becomes permissible to purchase the needs for that person rather than distributing cash.