Today was my first day at Carlisle CARES.  Yesterday I went for my orientation and got my first look at the homeless people in Carlisle, PA.  Surprisingly, they don’t look like homeless people (at least from a distance they dont).  One guy was actually wearing a leather coat and jeans that looked brand new.  The only reason why you would guess he was homeless was because he talked weird and he was missing his front teeth.  But besides the fact that he wanders around on the streets he seemed like a very nice man; he could tell you directions to anywhere and when all the stores, restraunts, and offices closed and opened in Carlisle.

I arrived at CARES at 2 o’clock this afternoon and immediately began working on the CARES monthly news letter.  The Bonner placement from last year had started the newsletter and so it is now my job to keep up with it.  Before I began working at CARES however, a volunteer had to write the newsletter over the summer and fall months.  All the people that work at CARES (both volunteers and hired case workers) are so nice and the working environment is very laid back and comfertable.  I believe I will definitely learn a lot through CARES both about homelessness and the goodness of the people in the Carlisle community.

While searching for facts about homelessness I began coming up with some ideas for students (particularly college students) to learn about and understand homelessness.  Here is a short list of ideas to check out:

  • Spend 24-48 hours outside walking around the town and sleeping outside
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  • Go on a tour of the homeless (apparently there are tours that show you what it is like to be homeless for a day)

What is Carlisle CARES?

Carlisle CARES is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency shelter to the local homeless.  The shelters are hosted in the local churches in Carlisle, participating churches will host the shelter for a month.  There are many volunteers who work both in the office of CARES and in the shelters at night.  The “season” of shelter begins in October and ends in August.  the “season” is decided and changes depending on how many churches are willing to host the shelter.

Homelessness is a big issue that is very real.  CARES needs the help and support of both students and community memebers to help those in need and to make Carlisle a better place for all.

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