On Friday, Nov. 15th several students from Kathleen Grove’s class (Soc. 100 intro) and Rachael Horn-Langford’s class (Soc. 110 social problems) worked at Interfaith Community Services in Escondido to help connect homeless people to services. The day began at 8 am and students helped with intake interviews (prepared by the Regional Taskforce on Homelessness), lunch bag preparation and distribution, directing clients to services like dental cleanings, flu shots, showers and laundry, case management, and veterans outreach.
This effort is part of the national 100,000 Homes Campaign to identify the people most at-risk of dying on the streets in our community, and to prioritize them for permanent supportive housing. This program reflects the “housing first” philosophy, which frames homelessness as a public health emergency.
The event (and all of us) were also on channel 9 that morning. “Our students did an amazing job… I was especially impressed though in student’s social skills- they reached and introduced themselves to folks, shook hands, etc. For people who are living on the streets- these welcoming acts that signify recognition of humanness- are especially important. As usual, I learned a lot from my students.” (Grove, 2013).