Monday was such an action packed day for us ASBers. I don't use the word 'action' loosely either. The main focus of LA CAN is to inspire and organize the community to action. Similarly, Union Rescue Mission provides at risk folks with the resources to take control of the actions in their lives and start on the path to making the most of their lives.
I'm sure each of the trip members took in various perspectives during the visits to the sites, but what I took in was the theme of unity in community. Serving food to the folks residing at URM gave me a glimpse of this powerful theme. When the men came to their scheduled breakfast time the interactions between them were sparse. Many men sat alone, while a few sat together in pockets enveloped in serious conservation. The women sat together in different groups; few were alone. However, they simply locked eyes while they ate - barely any conversation. Just sitting together in unity. What does this social behavior imply? I'm barely sure myself but I would venture to guess that these folks, with most luxuries stripped from them, have one thing that they can share together: unity within their community.
At LA CAN, the unity is more apparent. In fact, you cannot turn your head and ignore the droves of men and women who do not have homes. They congregate on the sidewalk in masses to the point where they all appear like one. They are unified in their life situation becoming a living depiction, a call to action of the help they so desperately need.
Community has been a topic our group has discussed since our first day in Los Angeles - even sprinkled here and there in our Sunday Seminars at Drexel. Our own ASB community, the LA community, and the homeless community: what are the common thread between them? How can we all align our visions? Does it require a call to action within all of us? I believe that it must start with a unity amongst all of our communities. A common thread in all of the sites us ASBers visit during this week long journey in Los Angeles: the homeless capital of America.