Going about our daily lives, we may see homeless people when we exit the freeway or while we walk through the Plaza. In just a moment of a busy day, we seem somebody living a different lifestyle than us but then continue on with our day. After a few times of seeing the same man at a certain intersection, we often stop noticing the loneliness in his eyes.
But when we are removed from our comfortable environment and get a chance to step back and look at life differently, it just might change the way we think about these moments. A Saturday Project at Hope Faith Ministries can do this.
On October 15, three Youth Volunteers were up not long after dark to serve at Hope Faith—a local day center for homeless people in downtown Kansas City. We swept the nearby streets, picked up trash and helped with countless loads of laundry. But most of all, we met the faces we’ve all grown accustomed to passing.
Working alongside Hope Faith staff members, they introduced us to the clients of the shelter. We met such a huge variety of people in just one morning and greeted everybody. We were instantly welcomed into this community of homeless people, who all thanked us profusely for helping them clean up their area. Picking up trash on the streets may seem like an insignificant task, but we soon realized that we were cleaning up these people’s home.
And there’s no better way to get to know someone but spend some time with them in their home.After we’d cleaned up the nearby streets, we went back in the shelter to help with several loads of laundry. With most of us lucky enough to have a washer and dryer in our houses, we wouldn’t consider laundry a luxury. But by helping with this task, we could imagine how difficult it would be to wash your clothes without access to something like this.
After four hours of hard work, we all went home to our warm houses with fully stocked kitchens a little more grateful than when we’d left that morning. And we just might smile at that homeless man at the intersection instead of ignoring him.
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