By: Luis Chacon
Province Coordinator for Volunteers
On Sunday, April 17, some of the Salesian presences in the Los Angeles Area decided to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus in a different way: bringing not only food and clothing to our homeless brothers and sisters on Skid Row, but also moments of prayer and letters (with blessings and motivational messages) written by the young people of the Confirmation Program of Saint Mary’s Parish.
This time we had close to 28 volunteers helping in various ways to bring hope to our brothers and sisters on Skid Row. As usual, a van and some cars left Saint Dominic Savio Parish on Sunday morning heading for Saint Joseph Salesian Retreat House, where Sunday mass was held.
Afterwards we met all the volunteers to organize all the donations and make the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As always, Fr Paul SDB, has received us with great pleasure and joy, has provided us with all the necessary utensils to prepare the sandwiches, helped us in the preparation of the food and gave us an encouraging message before leaving.
We thank all the Salesian presences who have sent representatives and donations for our Monthly Homeless Outreach organized by the Salesian Volunteers Program in coordination with the Mission Animation of this Province. On this occasion we had present:
- Saint Joseph Salesian Retreat House
- The Saturday Oratory of Saint Dominic Savio Parish
- Former Councilors of Camp Savio
- A Salesian candidate and a student at Saint John Bosco High School
- Restless Heart Foundation
- Saint Mary’s Parish (with the letters of blessing and food donations)
- Saint Isabel Elementary School (with the financial donation they gave on Thanksgiving, and we continue to use)
- Salesian Family Youth Center
At the end of our Homeless Outreach, we had the opportunity to share some reflections with the young Salesian volunteers. Among the reflections and questions that the young people expressed are the following:
- Does a person become homeless because they cannot pay rent?
- Is the main reason for being homeless drug use?
- Is the main reason for being homeless problems with Mental Health?
- Will there be homeless who freely decide to be homeless?
We believe that it is good to give young people opportunities to have contact with different realities, to recognize what they must be grateful for and to question what is happening in society. At the end of the day, we have recognized the importance of taking care of good habits that help us have Mental Health and always think of our neighbor.