Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 4 in the books

This post was written by Robin and Tony:

It’s 9:00 pm and this morning seems like it was a very long time ago. Our alarms when off at 6:00am and we had an hour to drive over to the Salvation army and take one of the two showers we will get this week. We ate breakfast and headed over to St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room which was across the bridge in Oakland.  

The St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room was a large, clean and very well organized dining room that serves 1000 meals per day to people who cannot afford to buy food. During our second half of the day we served with an organization called Project Open Hand.  

POH was founded to serve those who are trapped in their own homes due to a terminal illness (HIV/AIDS, etc), disabilities, or just the elderly. We were given a set of 15 meals and a map, and sent on our way. While delivering the meals, we were able to gain a glimpse of their lives. Most of these people lived in SROs (Single Room Occupancies) which are smaller than dorm rooms which cost $1000-$1500 a month to live in. It was heartbreaking to see these people who are trapped in their own homes, some constantly in pain, with no one to look out for them. Some were barely able to come to the door and open in on their own. It makes me wonder, what has happened in this person’s life so that they now have no one? Who watches out for them, making sure they get to eat each day, get their medication, or even take their trash out when they can’t even leave the room? If they were to die in their little rooms, which most of them probably will, who will bury them? Or will anyone even know that they died until rent was due? Before we came on this mission trip people asked us what we could possibly do in a beautiful city like San Francisco where rich people live? We are now beginning to see that the question should probably be “how will you ever find time to sleep in a city with so much need ?”