Updated: Apr 22
Walking in through the doors at Hospitality House for the first time at the beginning of the summer I had two things going through my head. "It is really hot in here" and "wow this place looks nothing like I envisioned". For lots of Criminal Justice majors doing an internship at a shelter instead of with law enforcement is something not done by many. With Covid-19 restricting many law enforcement agency's from taking interns, I ended up at the doors of Hospitality House for my internship. This internship helped me in ways that I will always remember, and it completely changed the way I view the world.
I was presented with a variety of tasks during the summer, including working the food pantry, working in the kitchen, and sometimes tasks that required some heavy lifting. Overall though not everyday was the same, as everyday brought in new sets of challenges, and new people to watch over. Like a traditional homeless shelter everyday there would be new faces eager to be helped out, and each one of those people required different things from Hospitality House.
Hospitality House forever changed the way I look at the homeless population. Before I believed that homeless people where homeless because of their own unwillingness to work. While that might be true for some of the homeless population, Hospitality House taught me that the most of these people are homeless because of many complex different factors. Some physically can't work, and some have serious mental issues that hinder them from living a normal life. A lot of it has to do with the area these individuals live in. In a college town with nothing but student housing, where are these individuals supposed to live. Even if they could live in the student apartments, a lot of people can't afford 1,000 dollars a month for a one bedroom apartment.
Hospitality House changed the way I view the homeless population and it also helped me become more aware if a certain city or town is doing what it has to do in helping lower the homeless population. I am grateful for then opportunity to work alongside many beautiful soles, and I wish nothing but the best for this agency.