I've been a volunteer in a recently opened Homeless Shelter. It is a warm, loving place.
It's a large room in a church filled with green Red Cross cots. 3 volunteers attend each evening.
Who The Homeless Are
We have many interesting people who have come to find shelter there. A group of people who were living in their cars in a Wendy's Restaurant parking lot, a young Iraqi war veteran, a few with addiction issues, a man with cancer. Newly homeless and others who live on the streets almost permanently.
One woman who I'll call Lillith, is an example of a woman who perhaps did not acquire job skills. Divorced and now living in a car, she often talks longingly and angrily about her ex-husband and how he abandoned her. Her designer royal blue luggage speaks of another properous life. Lillith is anxious and chats incessantly. She wonders if the fast food workers put "something weird" in her coffee in the morning.
The Iraqi veteran is young and handsome. Anyone's son. He regrets his drug usage. I tell him "Heck if I was in Iraq, I might use drugs too!" I want to comfort him.
Another man was sleeping out in the snow the past few days. He's grateful for a warm place.
Hearth & HeartWe play Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble. I learn to play the card game "Hearts". We eat pizza and sip on coffee.
Where I expected to find grim despair, I found human warmth and connection. What a surprise.