Today, Kurt visited from the church to help the children learn more about the homeless guests who have been sleeping in Blake Hall since last Monday. Their first questions were Why are they here? and What are their names?
Kurt explained that they are our guests because they’re homeless. He doesn’t know their names because they leave early in the morning and return late at night, so he hasn't met them. The children decided we should leave them messages asking their names along with writing materials so they can write back. The children asked lots of other questions:
Do they like to watch movies?
What kind of movies?
Do they have any way to watch them?
Do they watch Star Wars?
Why do they leave during the day?
Do they have money to travel?
Jack speculated that maybe they need fresh air. Margaret observed they don’t have money to buy a TV or a house. The children wondered if they could go to an orphanage, or live in a tent? Could we make them a tent?
We learned that a few of the guests have jobs, and many are working hard to get out of their situation. Margaret told the group that she and her sisters had found sheets and blankets in their rooms and had the idea they could give them to homeless people. Austin wondered how they would transport all their blankets? Kurt explained that their belongings are kept safe at St. John’s during the day, taking with them only what they need to stay warm during the day.
That led us to wonder where they go after their two-week stay at St. John’s. Kurt explained that there is a group of Georgetown churches that each host the guests for two weeks. We talked about our observations of homeless individuals in the city: sometimes they ask people for money or food, sometimes they hold up signs, sometimes they have pets. Many of the children were familiar with a homeless neighbor in Georgetown who has a dog and whom we see often on Wisconsin. Rachael shared that she had bought food for his dog before. The children had lots of ideas about animals who may be owned by a homeless person, or who may be strays, and may need help getting food and shelter.
We reviewed our proposed menu with Kurt. He really liked the children’s ideas, but suggested that we minimize sugary foods and drinks since many of our guests have diabetes. We narrowed the menu down to sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, nuts, chips, and water.
We can’t wait to prepare the bag lunches tomorrow, and we were so happy to have Kurt visit and answer our questions. Thanks, Kurt!
by Lisa & Rachael
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.