by John Russo ’20 (De La Salle House)
The junior class retreat was an eye opening experience. While I expected it to be only a day of cleaning and organization, it ended up being much more. My group visited the Interfaith Shelter, a shelter that houses families in tough situations while they search for jobs and housing. The shelter also provides counseling to help the residents find jobs. During our visit, we were invited to see the rooms the families stay in. Each family is assigned a single room to stay in that is similar to the size of a two or three person dorm. The room contains beds and a bathroom, and whatever space is left must be shared with the rest of the family. Most people are very lucky to have a space to themselves, however, families like those in the shelter have little privacy.
One of our tasks was to sort supplies. While doing this, it was amazing to see how generous people can be. There are many supplies that must be used by residents daily, including food, soap, and diapers. The Interfaith Shelter must receive enough of these supplies on a regular basis, as without them the residents cannot eat or remain clean. The shelter has a healthy stock of these daily supplies, thanks to the generosity of those luckier than the residents. It is amazing to see how willing some people are to help those in need.