This guy, Steve, led our tour. He was the volunteer coordinator. He was young and energetic--maybe 25--with a degree in psychology. And as I watched him I was simultaneously inspired and ashamed. Inspired because, in the face of hopelessness, he was so peppy, hopeful and respectful of the people he worked for. Ashamed because never in my wildest dreams would it have occurred to me to build a career around this sort of service. My narcissism would not have dug that at all. I think we can all agree that Steve is the better person here.
On the way home, one of our girls said, "I just don't see how you can end up homeless. My brain just can't wrap around this. Wouldn't their families take care of them?"
I tried to repeat what Steve had said..."Blah, blah, blah...mental health...disabilities...drugs...bad luck..."
"But...I just don't get it."
Unfortuntately, I think I do.
(We're making the residents hygiene kits. It's literally the least we can do.)
(The picture is of Juliette Gordon Low, who founded Girl Scouts. But I don't know which one she is!)