Because the event draws folks from all walks of life, many who have never met before, it provides the opportunity for volunteers and guides to meet new people, many from different walks of life. When teams come back to their deployment centers, we frequently hear lots of stories about their time during the count. Here is a little sampling of some of those stories:
- A volunteer shared her phone with her guide so that he could send his mother pictures of him participating in the count
- Volunteers and guides exchanging ideas for a guide to surviving while experiencing homelessness
- Some guides shared stories on finding and removing trash from encampments
- Specialty teams focused on the vehicularly housed got up extra early in the morning and starting their count at 1AM
- There were many incidents of volunteers buying coffee and breakfast for their guides
- Many volunteers relayed that their guides were vital to the process, continually finding individuals experiencing homelessness in locations they would have missed under normal circumstances
We don’t always get lots of opportunities to spend time in the field, but it is examples like these that provide the strong reminders of the many positive impacts this kind of work can have in a community. Working to shed light on the experiences of homeless individuals and how they deserve just as much respect and care as housed individuals is an important goal for us at ASR and we look forward to continuing this mission.