By Emma Mitchell
Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! In reflecting on this past week, I think I speak for all of Site Two when I say that we have all realized how much we have to be thankful for. Our last few days have been spent in Winnipeg experiencing the Urban Plunge, an experience that taught us about poverty, brokenness, and compassion.
On Monday, we split into groups and headed out on the streets of the North End for a learning tour. We visited different organizations who all have a common goal: to support the less fortunate as they seek to set their lives back on track. We were also presented with a challenge: each of us received just two dollars for our dinner so we could experience the difficulty of paying for a meal with next to nothing, a struggle that is all too real for the homeless. Most of us opted for $.99 pizza, and, while our pizza cravings were satisfied and our hunger was cured, we couldn’t help but think of how, for some, this greasy and unhealthy meal was a daily occurrence
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work volunteering at different missions around the North End. From working at drop ins and having some pretty amazing encounters with people who impacted us with their stories of struggles and faith, to cleaning out storage closets, cleaning up trash, raking leaves, and sorting clothes, every job we did made a positive impact on the organizations and on ourselves.
To end our week, we moved into transitional housing, affordable and temporary housing for those in low-income jobs looking to transition into long-term housing in the near future. Our days were spent at CMU learning about our spiritual pathways from our site leader, Jannelle, starting to prepare ourselves for our trip to South Africa, and participating alongside our Site One friends in BaFa’ BaFa’, a cross cultural learning activity.
Overall, this past week has been eye opening and gave us all a change in perspective about homelessness. It won’t be an experience that is soon forgotten.