Homelessness in Philadelphia and the work of Old First Reformed UCC, and partner community agencies, the Bethesda Project, and P.O.W.E.R., to combat it, formed the topic of conversation on Friday, December 5th as interns from YASC network sites all over the U.S. joined to talk together.
The video “Have the Homeless Become Invisible?” (3 1/2 min.) started the conversation. Pastor Michael Caine of Old First recounted history that has led to increased homelessness in the city and efforts to address root causes. YASC intern in Philadelphia, Timothy Kent, shared experiences of his work with the church’s cold winter shelter and clothes cupboard. YASC interns from different settings made connections or saw differences with the daily work in which they are involved this year.
Conversation took the turn of exploring the role of “mission exposure trips.” Whose needs are being met, and how, by the service provided by groups that are hosted by the homeless men in the cold winter shelter at Old First? What is the role of “mission exposure trips” for creating awareness and inspiring passion for deeper and lifelong involvement in change?
We were just getting started when the designated hour together drew to a close. The conversation continues…