Those of us on the trip came away with a more nuanced understanding of the who and what of homelessness. We met Allen, part of the security team for former presidents who spent 7 years on the streets. His message to us was clear. Homelessness can happen to anyone. When we see a homeless person, I suspect we all look at them in a new way. While they may be a stranger, they also are neighbor, friend, family....who are we to judge.
The most moving part of the week for me was the evening we cooked for and served 40 homeless people that came in off the streets of D.C. Before we ate, we played board games like Connect Four and tic-tack-toe. By the end of the evening, it was hard to tell who was homeless and who was there to serve. In the shared laughter and meal, we found our common humanity.