Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lets be proactive..

As a participant of PD since it began a few years ago here at MSU, I can definitely attest to the impact that PD has on the people we serve along with the surprising impact PD has/will have on you. Going out of your comfort zone is never easy, but once you can cross that barrier and strike up a conversation with the people in the shelters, you really won't regret it.

Every week PD has been nothing like the last, but in a good way. We go there, we laugh with the people in the shelter, hopefully brighten up their days, remind them that someone still cares while giving them a chance to vent about what they are going through. The people that I have talked to in past PD's are never expecting a solution to their problems...they've always just been incredibly grateful for our presence and for having someone that they could talk to that will listen. Like Maggie mentioned earlier, a lot of self realization goes on with every visit. My perception before had been it is the life choices that we make that lead us to where we are today.

What I failed to realize before, was life is not fair. The ones that end up homeless didn't necessarily do something in their life to deserve it. All it really took was one misstep for many to end up where they were today. The important thing now is for us to try to help Volunteers of America and other shelters move forward.

Right now when we take 2-3 hours out of our day to make sandwiches and talk with the people in the shelters, we are helping to alleviate some of the hunger and anxiety, but its only a momentary relief. The sandwiches only help push their hunger for another few hours, not giving them a permanent solution. One thing I think we should try to work towards is helping Volunteers of America and other organizations start programs to help get their residents back on their feet. A few of the residents already spend their days working around the establishment cleaning up and cooking...I think that pro-activeness should be more encouraged at the centers.

Anyone got any ideas on what we can do to help PD become more effective long-term at serving the Lansing residents?

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