First Overnight Stay at Simpson
This Tuesday I got my first opportunity to say overnight and volunteer at the Simpson homeless shelter. Each night at Simpson, there are 2 volunteers along with the employees. Since it was my first night, I was a shadow, meaning that I just watched what the volunteers did to get an idea of the process. After getting lost on the way there, I showed up about a half an hour late. When I walked in there were already a lot of people there and I got a lot of weird looks, probably because I was the only person there under 30. I introduced myself to all the employees and volunteers and they were all very nice and grateful that I had come in.
Growing up, I always that thought you it was easy to pick a homeless person out of a lineup. I assumed they would probably look dirty and noticeably depressed. Staying at Simpson helped me realize how wrong I was. Most of the people there looked completely "normal" (whatever that is). This was probably the most surprising thing to me. I got a chance to talk to a few of the people staying at the shelter, which was a good experience. The ones I talked to were very grateful to the homeless shelter and seemed like genuine people. It was sad for me to see them in their situation.
Before going, I thought that it might be kind of weird to sleep at a homeless shelter. Fortunately, I didn't find it weird at all and was plenty comfortable. My experience at Simpson was definitely a positive one, and I look forward to continuing my volunteer experience with them, possibly even after this course is complete.