Homelessness wears many faces.
The old and unkempt. The young and clean-looking. Single mothers with children.
These were some of the people at a local homeless shelter that my girls had the recent opportunity to serve with their homeschool co-op class.
The eye-opening experience is one that they want to repeat soon.
“Many homeless people get passed over or even harassed by society. So they are very surprised and grateful when people actually want to serve them,” one volunteer told us.
Katie and her class mates had fun serving chicken, mostaccioli, baked beans, green bean casserole, garlic bread and applesauce cups.
A highlight was when one of the patrons declined the applesauce, claiming that he didn’t eat “baby food.” (And then the big guy next to him asked for two cups!)
Kinda hard to pass up on extra applesauce when you have these two cute servers!
After lunch was over, the events coordinator (also a volunteer) explained to us about their programs that help people get back up on their feet, overcome addictions, train for jobs, and further develop a relationship with God. She gave us a tour of the building, showing us the really nice dorm-like apartments for single people and families living there.
The hallways were huge and wide and empty–so that the children are free to run around and ride their bikes.
“The school bus comes early and picks up our kids first and also drops them off last, so that the other kids don’t have to know that they live at a homeless shelter,” the volunteer said.
Gracing the walls were picture frames of the precious children living there. Painted among their faces was this quote:
Every child is a story waiting to be told.
We left the shelter feeling grateful that such an asset exists in our community.