Thursday, March 24, 2016

Homelessness is sad we should change it

Today we divided into two groups to volunteer at different locations. One group woke up at 5am to volunteer at So Others Might Eat (SOME) and others woke up at 9am to volunteer at Central Union Mission. We were a little bummed about waking up so early but the morning turned out well. At SOME we watched a great video about the work the SOME does for the surrounding homeless community. They provide 2 meals a day/7 days a week to so many people in the area. They also have counseling, dental and health services, prepare their clients for jobs and help with the job search, addiction treatment and housing assistance. We were all impressed by the amount of resources SOME has and the change that they are making in many peoples lives. During our service hours in the morning we helped make plates of food for around 330 people. The clients came in to get food in three different shifts. We all noticed how fast and efficient the people moved through the line. It was great to see how much they were able to accomplish and help the guests. 
While SOME does a lot to help so many people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, many of us struggled with their focus on quantity over quality. The efficiency caused a lack of interactions with the guests. Throughout this trip we have learned how important these interactions are to counteracting most often isolating days that people experiencing homelessness often have. The other group that went to Central Union Mission did lots of hard work painting walls and cleaning. Even though this group was not working directly with people experiencing homelessness they all felt satisfied with the help they gave the organization. This day like many others this week was filled with reflection about the work we are doing and how we are growing as individuals. Our group is becoming close  from all of  the experiences we have shared together. 
In the afternoon, the whole group met up at Bread for the City, which helps provide food, health, and legal services to people experiencing homelessness and others. Despite not having any service scheduled, we helped package produce and break down cardboard for them so they could accommodate their clients. After we finished that, we took a tour of the building seeing the legal and health departments as well as the rooftop garden. On the rooftop garden, they grow fresh vegetables which they give to their clients. The tour was informational about the services they provide, and how they accommodate and serve so many clients. We look forward to volunteering with Bread For the City tomorrow!

-Elise, Jon and Ella(Umbrella.... ella.... ella... ella...

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