My perception of the homeless and homeless shelters has changed dramatically since I started volunteering at LPCS in August. It was kind of a revelation to meet such a wide range of people classified as "homeless." There are history buffs, yoga fanatics -- people with whom I can easily relate. Before stepping into LPCS, I thought shelters looked kind of like POW camps, with dark, vast sleeping areas full of creaky twin beds. I'd never heard of extended-stay shelters, in which guests take a wide range of classes to get their lives back on track.
As a front-desk volunteer, there is a lot of sitting around and talking to guests/employees/cooks. For me, it's a nice way to wind down after a day of work. I've made some good friends during my time at LPCS, and I'm hoping to get more involved as long as my schedule allows it.
-- Emile Dawisha