I selected the Beacon to complete my service learning assignment over two days. The Beacon, a nonprofit day center that provides services to Houston’s homeless, is located at 1212 Prairie and staff can be reached at (713) 220-9737. The Beacon’s website, www.chomhouston.org, provides comprehensive information on the history of The Beacon and the services they provide. Established in 2007 by Christ Cathedral Church, The Beacon is currently open to serve clients Friday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, starting in April, The Beacon will begin opening on Thursday to provide services five days a week (Chomhouston.org, 2014). My contact, Zachary Hubenak, is the kitchen Coordinator and informed me the population The Beacon serves has grown 10 fold since its inception. Hubenak, additionally ,told me The Beacon served 80 people on its inaugural day and serve over 700 now on a daily basis (personal communication, January 28, 2014). My first day of service saw the population hit almost 800 and no one was turned away.
Upon arriving at the facility, I learned that The Beacon does much more than provide a meal to clients. The Beacon’s motto, “restoring hope, dignity, and self-respect,” is visible throughout the building, and they have incorporated simple services such as providing toiletries and laundry services, to more multifaceted services with the assistance of case managers to meet those goals. All of the services The Beacon offers are basic essentials that most people take for granted, but I can see and hear the relief on the faces of the clients after they shower, change into clean clothing, and receive their meal. Some clients take advantage of services more often than others, especially when transportation i...
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...on the homeless community. I previously held preconceived notions that the homeless consisted of people who were either unable to connect and form relationships with others or didn’t desire to do so. Yet, I observed most everyone greeting one another and reminiscing with those who have been absent from the community for a while, as well as, expressing concern for those missing. I recognized that the homeless may live in a non-traditional way, but they have established their own communities and are successful in forming and maintaining cohesive relationships.
Barbara, E. (2001). Serving in Florida. Nickled and Dimed (pp. 18-20). New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
The Beacon | Respecting Human Dignity, Improving Lives. The Beacon | Respecting Human Dignity, Improving Lives. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://www.chomhouston.org.