Thursday, January 22, 2009

Understanding the Homeless Population of LA

Mason Giem, UM Campus Corps member, talks about his experiences on the winter alternative breaks trip to Los Angeles.

We had a panel of people come to our house and tell us their stories. Bobby was the first person who spoke, and he had a lot to say about the importance of making connections with the homeless. When he was homeless, one thing that offended him was when people would give him money and not look him in the eye. He suggested to share a sandwich with a homeless person rather than just buying them one. What a great idea, of course I would want to sit down with them and hear their story. I asked him how I might better motivate my peers to care about someone other than themselves, and he said it was important to lead by example: "It's easier to pull a chain than it is to push a chain".

The people I met in the shelter exuded a positive energy that was infectious. I walked out of those shelters feeling that everything is going to be OK, that not everyone is greedy, selfish or ignorant. LA tries to take care of it's people. They're amazing. I know not everybody in LA is like that, but today I really did see the city of angels!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mason. Sounds like it was a pretty interesting experience!