Located in downtown Minneapolis, it is easy to see how People Serving People (the largest and most comprehensive family-focused shelter in Minnesota) can have such an impact on the homeless community in the Twin Cities. The mission of PSP, "To serve homeless children and their families and provide new opportunities for healthy stable family life" is achieved by providing countless services and opportunities to homeless children and their families. Especially focused on the well-being of children, just a few of the services PSP provides are an Early Childhood Development Center, after school programs for school aged children, tutoring services, a Free Arts Program, and Girl Scouts. PSP also provides Housing, Employment Assistance, a Technology Center, and a Culinary Arts Training Program. People Serving People prides itself on being a safe, secure, and sober environment; whis is important for the growth of any person or family into becoming independent and accountable.
When I was 16, I went on a trip to Colorado for a service project with my church. While we were there we restored and rebuilt a trail going up a mountain nearby our site, we worked at a day camp with children coming from low-income families, and painted houses for Habitat for Humanity. One of my favorite things we did while we were there, though, was a day trip we took to Colorado Springs. While we were there we spent our time at a park where many homeless people lived. We were basically just supposed to go walk around the park and talk with the people "living" there and the experience was amazing and was a big reason why I chose to work at a homeless shelter. I chose People Serving People because it offers so many incredible resources for homeless families to help them get back on the feet again with finding jobs and affordable housing when they're ready. I especially love the many educational services provided for children as it gives them the chance to succeed as well.
This project's intention is to identify the many challenges faced by families affected by homelessness, and to examine the way in which providing alternative services can assist them in finding the housing, jobs, and schooling needed to become independent and stable. From this activity, I hope to be able to use my own personal strengths for the good of others as a "light for the world", and to improve communication, patience, and understanding with people who are not exactly like me.