Six weeks down and two weeks left.  I remember how during my first few weeks I spent a couple hours everyday just hanging out in the Drop-In Center attempting to shift from being an outsider to a familiar face.  That was a slow process.  As time passed though, people who I had never spoken with except to hand them a laundry token or check their mail began talking to me like they trusted me.  Asking me about my day. Joking with me.  I never imagined how much more invested I would feel in Covenant House when the people I’m serving want to know me and see me as a valued resource.  And it was a snowball effect.  As soon as one person felt comfortable casually talking to me, others began to quickly realize that I was a normal person. Someone who carry on a conversation past “This is only valid for 30 days..” 

 Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I have been able to work the front desk and sit and get to know people.  Whether it is Rick, the recovering meth addict who comes into my office at least twice a week to just sit and chat, or Sally, the lady who comes in everyday to shower and laundry and tells me so much about her grandchildren that I feel like I’ve practically met them, or even Carl, the homeless and often disheveled man who tells me on a daily basis that I look like some nondescript woman on a television commercial, I know these people in more ways than service.

This being said, I still don’t know how exactly to make sure families never have to worry about having their electricity turned off or how to empty the 3 overcrowded shelters in Covenant House’s backyard.  But all in good time.  As of this right now, I am confident that by first knowing these people, I have a clearer understanding of how to best assist these people.  I now see poverty as a face and a people, not an issue.  Issues are things you deal with because you feel like you have to, but people are individuals you help in reaction to a realization of your own fortune.

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