A Shantytown at Everest?
The EC girls experienced what it is like to live on the streets in a retreat called “Shantytown”. They built cardboard “shantys” in which they attempted to spend the night to see what homeless people go through.
“We still had the comforts of many layers of clothes, good sleeping bags and the option to come in during the night if we got too cold or scared,” said Regnum Christi Consecrated Woman Rose Wieber.
The girls also participated in several activities. “We started with an activity that helped us to see how the media influences us, how we judge and label homeless people and why we think they are homeless,” said Rose.
Two young adults who were once homeless visited to share how they became homeless, what it was like living on the streets and how they changed their circumstances.
The EC students also made more than 200 hundred snack bags containing trail mix to bring to the homeless during a visit to Detroit. While in the city they joined the PB&J outreach program supplying food to the needy on the streets every Saturday morning.
“Seeing each homeless person go through the line helped us to realize they are ordinary people just like us,” said Rose. “It was hard to see some people come through with small children. But we were happy we could help.”
One of the girls on the retreat, Sarah, said,” It was really eye opening to be able to experience how some people actually live every day. Hearing the stories of some people and helping out in Detroit has given me a new appreciation for what I have. I am so glad that I was able to go and I truly encourage others to try it in the future.”
“I really got to see how the life of a homeless person would be,” said Kristy. “I saw desperation and hope in their eyes and that really touched me. It was rewarding but hard at the same time.”
Olivia said, “It was a truly gifted experience to see how these people who have nothing are much happier than a lot of the people I come in contact with. It is so easy to become trapped in a material world and to ignore what makes everyone truly happy — Jesus.”