THG: What did you learn from this experience?
Emily: So much…Obviously, we learned a lot about the situation over there- that there are people that are struggling. The main day that got me was when we cooked spaghetti and meatballs for 150 of the people at the Catholic Charities men’s shelter. Giving them a warm meal – the way I thought about homeless shelters I assumed that there’s a warm meal every night. But we were told that once a month they get a warm meal. So, we were giving them huge bowls of spaghetti and meatballs and bread and lemonade – and they were just so happy. That kind of showed me that those are the people we are working to help.
THG: Did this experience have any effect on your future goals or aspirations or how you view homelessness?
Emily: I think it definitely changed the way I see things. Initially, I thought to myself “I’ll just drop-out of school and do this” because it was so enjoyable. But, realistically, I can see myself working on projects like this wherever I end up. Also, it’s cool now because I have a connection to the other students who also did the project. Overall, it has definitely made me more aware of what’s going on outside of campus.
THG: Is there anything else you want to say about your experience?
Emily: It was incredible. I wish it never ended. I mean Andrew – it’s amazing how passionate he is. There was no point during the week when it seemed like he was going to stop working. One of the nights as we were leaving, while we working on the two family house, he asked all of us if there was anything we were going to need for tomorrow. I had peeled carpet off the floor that day because there was this sticky stuff that I had been scraping at, and I had been using this tiny bottle of Goo-Gone. I told Andrew that I needed more Goo-Gone. So, when I come in the next day, there’s an industrial-size metal canister of Goo-Gone that says “Emily!” on it and he said “there you go!” He was so excited to bring us things that we would need for the house because he knew it would make our jobs easier and we would enjoy it more.