Every time I am driving with my mom or by myself, I always seem to come across a homeless person. Especially in Houston, there are many homeless people wandering around the streets, wondering where their next meal would come from. I always want to give them some change or some food to help them out. But after I give them something, it does not make me feel like I truly helped them because at the end of the day, they are still on the street.
One day, I was at home when I saw a text message from a group chat that me and my youth church group had. The message had talked about an opportunity volunteering at a homeless shelter serving food and talking to the people who regularly attend there. Everyone in the chat agreed and the date was set. About 2 weeks later, my youth group and I headed to the homeless shelter which was in downtown Houston. I looked around the shelter and was taken aback by how big it was. The walls were filled with inspirational posters and pictures of famous people. There were bedrooms in the middle of a narrow hallway and further down was the cafeteria. In the cafeteria, we noticed that everybody was there, and I had not realized that it was lunchtime. As we began serving food in the shelter, something had caught my eye. It was a woman with three kids. two boys, both around 12 years old and a girl who looked like a toddler. They were wearing dirty clothes and shoes. I did not expect to see a family in a homeless shelter, let alone one with no father. It made me think about my own family and how we had it different. We always had clean clothes on and had hot meals every night in the comfort of our own home. My siblings and I never had to worry about anything. When we were done serving food, we headed back to the kitchen to clean up and made our way to the cafeteria to talk to some of the people. I immediately went to the woman with her kids and introduced myself. She said that her and her kids came to the shelter about six months before. I had asked her about their father. It took a while for her to respond. She said that their father was in the military and had been killed while on duty. She had lost her job which then lead to their home being foreclosed. She had then talked to me about their times on the streets, begging and looking for a place to stay. It really opened my eyes as to the struggles people have in their lives.
When I had gotten back home, I told my mom about what I did and the family I had met. We talked about how easy we live compared to others. My experience being at the homeless shelter taught me that no matter where someone is in life, they never know what could happen to them.