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Shadow Shift

The first time that I had to stay overnight at Simpson Housing I shadowed two other volunteers. On a normal night there is only two volunteers total. I got there at 5:45 and waited around til 6 when the staff opened the doors for overnight guests and other homeless people who were just coming in for dinner. Once everyone was in and settleed, dinner was served around 7:30ish. (Different church groups or other organizations come in every night to make dinner for the men.) After dinner, me and one other volunteer went into the supply closet to get various toiletries that the men needed. The men were only allowed to visit the supply closet once a week, so they stocked up on socks, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. After that, I sat down and talked to some of the men. One guy told me how he became homeless and it was a very intense, humbling story. Other guys just talked about sports or what was going on in the news. At the homeless shelter, there is a washer and dryer for anyone to do their laundry, and showers. I had to stay up until midnight then wake up at 4 so that I could see what happens during both shifts. The first shift is from 10-2 and you dont really do much during that shift exept get anything that someone needs. Then the second shift from 2-6 you have to get the breakfast cart ready for breakfast. I caught myself giggling when throughout the night I would hear a symphony of snoring and farting all night long! It was so hard for me to get up with only four hours of sleep, but coffee was made when I got up so I drank like 3 cups. After the men ate breakfast, they had to leave the shelter by 7:00. Because some of the men have jobs, we had to wake some of them up at earlier times. I left the shelter at about 7:20am and got on the bus back to campus to go to all of my classes. I had this amazing feeling inside me when I left and I wanted to share with everyone what I had just experienced.