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News

Volume 65 Number 2

Students see another side of life during 24 hours on Skid Row

by Arianna Menzelos - 2014-11-20


This year, 24 Hours of Homelessness will take place on November 7th and 8th. On this trip a group of around 12-16 students leave campus on a Friday, drive up to the Los Angeles Mission in Skid Row and stay the night.

The group eats their meals with the people who live at the mission as well as with people living on the streets who come to the mission for food. The students spend the night at the mission, and the next day they attend a church service and tour the neighborhood to develop a more personal connection with a portion of the homeless population in Los Angeles. This year, Chadwick students will be handing out hygiene kits as well as distributing previously collected items for donation.

“It’s an opening in our ability to put ourselves into other people’s shoes. Sometimes we see people on the corner asking for money, food, or support and we always think of them as ‘other people.’ I think its really important for us to see what it feels like to be in a place where you don’t have a mailbox, you don’t have your own phone, and you don’t have a way for people to reach you,” says Director of Community Service Becky Noble.

This is the third year Chadwick has offered the opportunity. The program is largely student-run and has become increasingly more so throughout the years.

Noble has two goals for Chadwick students who go on this trip. The first is that she hopes that we realize homelessness can be a result of many different situations, and it is important to recognize the incredibly challenging lives these people lead.

Finding common ground and the importance of caring for one’s community are prominent themes in Chadwick’s service programs, especially in this instance.

Noble highlights the importance of recognizing the similarities between Chadwick students and the homeless people as opposed to the more apparent differences: “It is important to have empathy for a group of people that we would originally think we don’t have a lot in common with. But once you start talking to them, you find out how they’re very much like you in many ways. They went to college, they had great lives, but something went off the rails” said Noble.

Chadwick students sign up for this program to learn about a way of life much different from their own.

“I expect to learn about the difficulties facing people who don't have access to basic needs like shelter or enough food that we all take for granted, and hope to come away with an understanding of what I can do to help make a difference,” says sophomore Jacqueline Kunesh.

As a student who has gone on the trip, Allyson Eggers encourages the Chadwick community to take advantage of this opportunity: “I heard so many amazing stories from the people I met, and I think it is important for us to try to better understand these people’s perspectives instead of jump to conclusions like we sometimes do,” says Eggers.

Noble hopes that students recognize how 24 Hours of Homelessness acts as a local experience to help students expand their horizons.

“In our mind, global programs immediately mean you’re going to Africa or Southeast Asia, but I think that we really need to recognize that our community provides an ample opportunity for us to stretch beyond our comfort zone and our natural boundaries,” says Noble.


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noble, chadwick, year, mission, people, think, important, don, says, community, program, student


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