Wednesday, July 3, 2013

faces of hope

This post was contributed by SOC 3013 student, Jessica Raasch.

Before becoming employed at Haven for Hope, my thoughts about the homeless population were pretty much like those of the average American. I firmly believed that we are fully responsible for ourselves, and that if we worked hard, we would get what we wanted out of life. The homeless were therefore likely deficient in important ways as human beings. Since working with Haven for Hope, I have come to see that homeless people, like all other people, defy easy stereotypes. If nothing else, the above video asks us to see the homeless population as comprised of real people who have confronted incredibly difficult life challenges. It illustrates that those without housing are not of one race, sex, personality type, or common story. In these tough times, for example, one could lose a job and soon be out on the street, or living on the street might be far better than continuing to live in an abusive home. Those in the video admit to the world the mistakes they have made, but also suggest the compassion, empowerment, and transition brought in their lives.


  1. Well, this was certainly an uplifting video. The video really did do what it intended to do--defy the stereotypes.

    I have had A LOT of interactions with homeless people due to my old job, and it was never a pleasant one. They were rude, crass, annoying, and always LOADED WITH CASH. It was hard for me to feel bad for them after we apprehended one for theft and interviewed him. He actually wasn't homeless. He had a place to stay, he just would throw dirt on his face, carry a cane as a prop, and bum for money. When you think about the hourly wage of say, someone at Subway at McDonalds, making 9 bucks an hour... I promise you any bum far surpasses that per hour, and they have the option to work much longer than 40 hours a week.

    There are of course some that are genuine and really need the help. I just became a bit jaded over redundant interactions. I did ask a group of them once to leave the parking lot because they were handing out those Jesus flyers, talking about how they overcame their addictions through the power of God. When I asked them to leave, one of them said, "I'm going to pray for you!"--I just kind of scoffed and asked them to leave again. So I went in the office and watched them on camera just to be sure they left. But what did I see?--I saw all 4 of them get in a circle, drop to one knee, and start praying. I said to my boss, "Wow, hey, I think they really are praying for me right now, I feel kind of special!"

    Anyway, back to the video. There's not much I can think of to say about it other than I am glad there is a place like this giving people 2nd chances.
    -Scott Jarvis, SOC 3013

  2. First things first, this video made me cry! I agree this video did defy stereotypes. Being from Houston, you see a lot of true working men who will stand on the corner and have an entire home with a family, and a car parked around the corner. Just to see how far they can get by bumming money. To be honest this made me think that every homeless person was "like this".
    Though I am not at all a bad person every time I see people standing on the corner I try to lend a helping hand because you cannot let one bad apple spoil it for everyone. There are so many stereotypes that we can put on the homeless but do we ever try to compliment them? No we always go back to they are a really talented person but they used to be strung out on drugs, or was on the streets. This is what I feel this video is doing. Of course it’s putting the homeless in a positive light for the moment but it is all taken away from them at the end of the day, because of their homeless background.
    -Samone Lindsey

  3. Earlier this year, as part of an assignment for a Counseling class, I had a tour of Haven for Hope. It was a privilege and I felt so grateful that San Antonio houses such a wonderful facility. I felt so very glad that there were visionaries who looked at the barren buildings and properties and put two and two together, not thinking of themselves, but of the hundreds of people who would be served in a very fundamental way during a very difficult time in their lives. As others have stated, it is easy to become cynical because of those who are not sincere and take advantage of the good will of the people, but we can not blind ourselves to the reality that there are honest people who are worthy of these services, who, due to extreme circumstances need a helping hand, a guiding hand. One never knows the future and who may be in need of such service of care and compassion. Not least of all this creates good karma and is sure to result in good things. To all who serve selflessly in this manner: a heartfelt THANK YOU.
    Viviana Rose.-