THG Blog

ESF does SPRING BREAK!

Spring Break! Daytona Beach. Miami. Cancun. After a winter semester in the snowiest city in America (no joke), who could blame Syracuse college students wanting to spend a week in the sun doing nothing but good clean family fun. Right?

Well a STELLAR group of SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry students would have NONE of that...

The Crew at the Samaritan Center

The Crew at the Samaritan Center

The week was packed. What with opportunities to introduce students to homelessness in Syracuse, opportunities for direct service, and reflection, we tried to keep dull moments to a minimum. 

Lets take a look at Wednesday...

The whole crew participated in the Pedal to Possibilities program at the Brady Faith Center. That was from 8 AM - 10:45 AM

The whole crew participated in the Pedal to Possibilities program at the Brady Faith Center. That was from 8 AM - 10:45 AM

We heard from two administrators from a local homeless shelter and from A Tiny Home for Good Board Member Miguel Balbuena about homelessness and how students can play an important role in ending it. 11 AM - 12:30 PM

We heard from two administrators from a local homeless shelter and from A Tiny Home for Good Board Member Miguel Balbuena about homelessness and how students can play an important role in ending it. 11 AM - 12:30 PM

Part of the crew stayed busy framing walls for three more tiny homes that will be built on the Southside of Syracuse. 1 PM - 4:30 PM

Part of the crew stayed busy framing walls for three more tiny homes that will be built on the Southside of Syracuse. 1 PM - 4:30 PM

The rest of the crew stayed busy painting a church across the street from our property. Gotta be good neighbors. 1 PM - 4 PM

The rest of the crew stayed busy painting a church across the street from our property. Gotta be good neighbors. 1 PM - 4 PM

The group reconvened and prepared a dynamite meal for the Catholic Charities Men's shelter. 4:30 PM - 6: 30 PM

The group reconvened and prepared a dynamite meal for the Catholic Charities Men's shelter. 4:30 PM - 6: 30 PM

The crew then served the meal at the shelter. Those that were not serving spent time meeting some of the residents and hearing their stories. 6:30 PM - 8 PM

The crew then served the meal at the shelter. Those that were not serving spent time meeting some of the residents and hearing their stories. 6:30 PM - 8 PM

Finally capped of the day with our own dinner and reflection. 8:30 PM - 10 PM

Finally capped of the day with our own dinner and reflection. 8:30 PM - 10 PM

Each day looked very much like Wednesday. With a introduction and relationship building activity in the AM, followed by building/painting/digging, capped off with reflection. By the end of the week the group had framed three tiny homes, painted a neighboring church, and made headway clearing a soon to be excavated property. Took the Break right outta Spring Break...

There were two qualities that ABSOLUTELY RADIATED from the group over the course of the week. They were PERCEPTIVE. They strove to understand each activity, each interaction, and each person. And they were DOERS! They built on their understandings asking themselves, "how can I, with my unique gifts, best contribute?"  

The answer to homelessness is not simple. But it REQUIRES that we all act with the grace that was displayed by the ESF students over the course of the week. The ability to approach situations with a curious and open mind, and then ACT.  I am so thankful for the week.

A special thank you to Amelia Hoffman, the Academic Success and Community Service Coordinator at SUNY ESF. She was the force that breathed life into this week and made it a reality. (She made the above video. And took most of the pictures too!)

Thanks all.

-Andrew Lunetta