Orientation at Simpson
Last Friday I had my orientation meeting at Simpson Housing Services. I didn't know what to expect. All I knew was that it was a homeless shelter, but since I'd never been to a homeless shelter before, that didn't provide a lot of background. I walked in about a half hour late after getting lost trying to find the place. It turned out that it was only me and 2 girls that were being "trained in", so it wasn't a big deal. The lady that was training us in was very nice, and seemed extraordinarily sincere. We went over some papers about their policy, and also some dealing with what-to-do in certain situations. Then, she showed us around the facility. The first room she showed us was the lounge. This is where the people staying for the night watched TV, read, or played board games. She proceeded to show us the storage closet where people were able to get limited amounts of items for free. After seeing a few other rooms, she took us to the "bedroom". The people staying at the shelter for the night sleep in a big room with white walls and a wooden floor. Their beds are simply about 6 by 2 foot mats, that are lined up in rows that cover the entire room. It was sort of shocking for me to see this sleeping situation.
Being at the homeless shelter gave me a very good idea of what I'm going to be experiencing when I actually get to volunteer there. I no longer have any real uncertainty about volunteering. I think it will be worthwhile and I'm sure I will get to see a lot of interesting people. I have never really volunteered like this in my life, and I think it is good to see people who have dedicated their lives to helping those less fortunate. My first night at Simpson will be this Tuesday, and I'm excited to finally get started.