By Yesenia Carrillo
For the past three years high school senior Anna Wilson has volunteered at her local homeless shelter. She says it feels great to be part of something much more than just her daily activities. She likes that she is able to help others in ways that she never thought she would.
“Coming here I am able to help the people who are in need of it,” says Wilson. “Knowing that it’s just for a few nights, these people still have somewhere to go.”
For Wilson, it has been her first homeless shelter to volunteer at, but there are others who have been to plenty. Whether it be because they volunteer or are the ones in need.
Carter S. says that he feels welcomed when he is received at the many shelters he has stayed at. Over the past seven years Carter has visited about 10 to 15 different shelters.
“It’s nice to know that I will have food and a roof over my head for a couple of days. Many of us don’t always get that privileged” said Carter.
For a few years now Susanna Gonzales has worked at a sheltering home. There they feed the hungry and shelter people for a few days. Even though it’s for a short period that people can sleep at the shelter Gonzales feels great to be able and help them.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work at other shelters, so I see just about anything,” says Gonzales. “But that does not change how I feel about the help they can receive and the help we can give.”
Carter gives thanks everyday because even though he is homeless, he has been lucky to get to stay at shelters. There have been times where he has not been as lucky but still he continues, with hopes of finding something.
“I’ve had a troubled life and have not been able to become stable,” says Carter. “But I’ve been lucky with the people that I have met at the shelters. It makes me feel like I have a home.”
Even though volunteers don’t know what it is like to be homeless, they see that it is difficult to have to live that way. Gonzales decided to work in this field after discovering what a close friend was going through.
“A close friend of mine went through some of the things that I see these people go through, things that lead to them being homeless,” says Gonzales. “When I saw what my friend was going through I realized that even though I cannot prevent people from being homeless, I wanted to find a way to help. And so I did.”
Susanna said that she didn’t want others to have to go through those things, some of the people she is that are homeless are sometimes young teens. Ever since she has felt the need to help and is happy doing so.
For Wilson it maybe the only shelter she has volunteered at but that’s not stopping her from continuing.
“It doesn’t matter how people end up being homeless, if they can get help why not do it then?” Wilson asked.