Whenever I thought of Washington D.C. I used to think of the monuments, the Smithsonian’s, and all of the hustle and bustle of the city. Before going on the alternative spring break trip I had been to the city two other times, both times to learn about the history of our country. This trip provided me with a different outlook of the city. As a group we delved into the real issues that are behind homelessness as well as taking a realistic approach for ways to help the problem. During our trip we also spent time serving the homeless.
As with any trip with LCM, having a great group of friends by your side makes it all the more fun. While in the city we took the time to see the monuments and explored some of the museums and building like the National Archives that many of us had not seen before. Mixing these fun events through out the week helped make the work we were doing seem even more worthwhile. During our outings to the monuments on the first day I began to realize the large amount of homeless people all throughout the city, something I had not really taken much time to think about before this trip. The week was then intertwined with lessons about how the social dynamics of Washington D.C. have quickly been changing over recent years, causing more and more people to be unable to pay for their homes. During one of these “mini classes” a man named Eric, who volunteered for a homelessness advocacy group came and spoke with us. Eric himself was homeless yet it seemed like his young life followed a path very similar to many of us on the trip. A few days later while serving at a soup kitchen, Eric came through the door to receive his lunch. While I knew he was homeless, actually seeing him in a different situation really opened my eyes to understanding homelessness.
This trip granted me the opportunity to further see how the church can play a role in the community it is surrounded by. I am beyond thankful I had this opportunity to spend the week learning and serving with others from LCM.