Can You Pass This Month’s Test on Homelessness?
EXTRA CREDIT ANSWER
Two mindsets frequently arise among West Side Homeless Outreach volunteers during the winter holydays. The first centers on the volunteers themselves. “What feels good to me while volunteering?” “What do I feel like volunteering?” These self-centered questions can actually impede help to the homeless. The focus is on volunteers, not on homeless individuals served.
The second mindset centers on the unsheltered men, women and children served. “What do the people I’m serving need most from me?” is the operative question with this perspective. Efforts cater to the unsheltered people being served. The focus is not about volunteers. The unsheltered benefit most when volunteers focus on service rather than on being served. And it's not where you serve but how you serve that counts. Sad to say, these are among the most difficult concepts of volunteerism to teach.
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West Side Homeless Outreach is frequently a major link between chronically unsheltered individuals, such as those above, and the lifesaving services they need.
Randy lost his job and became homeless, proving that bad things can happen to good people.
Clothing donations from families and individuals are extremely important to West Side Homeless Outreach. Every year, we receive generous contributions from compassionate supporters.