Updated: Jul 31
My name is Wesley and I have been a summer 2020 Hospitality House intern. I guess I will start with the obvious: 2020 has been a very unusual year. Although the challenges have been many, I feel that my experience at Hospitality House has been meaningful in so many ways.
One great thing about interning at Hospitality House is the fact that you get to work in several different areas—and you have some freedom to choose where you’ll spend the most time. There’s the front desk, the kitchen, and the food pantry. In addition, you might just have the opportunity to paint, organize the attic, and (my personal favorite) clean the facility. THE LAST SENTENCE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE SARCASTIC.
Internships should be about more than working in an office all the time; one can gain a lot of useful life skills from these types of activities. Plus, cleaning the facility is not as bad as it sounds—and it might just make Hospitality House a healthier place.
Although there are a lot of hands-on components to Hospitality House’s internship program, you will also have the opportunity to work on a number of projects. Once again, you will probably have a major say in what these projects entail. Regardless of what projects you choose, you will likely learn a lot from completing them. One of my projects has involved me preparing portions of Hospitality House’s COVID-19 response manual. Although this disease is a terrible tragedy, my internship at Hospitality House has given me the (hopefully) rare opportunity to help manage a pandemic.
Interning at Hospitality House gives you the chance to meet a lot of wonderful people. The staff and clientele are fun to interact with. Despite what you might have heard, most homeless individuals are NOT intimidating. I have almost never felt threatened at Hospitality House, and I have had mostly positive experiences with clients (several of whom have gone out of their way to thank me for the work I do). None of this is to say that there are never any problems at Hospitality House. However, any problems that do occur are promptly handled by staff members. In other words, don’t be afraid to intern at Hospitality House.
Above all, offering your services to Hospitality House will allow you to assist those in need. To me, there is a lot of honor in serving the underprivileged. Regardless of your background, you can make a difference in people’s lives. Sure, interning at a homeless shelter might not be considered ‘glamorous’ by some standards, but the work you do lasts more than a few days. If you take to heart everything you encounter at Hospitality House, your work will last a lifetime.