I have always loved the sun. I love the feeling of its warmth on my face. I appreciate how it makes the avocado tree in our front yard abundant with fruit. I look forward to the amazing show it puts on every morning and evening, each day different than the one before. I recently remarked to my community members while on an evening drive to get ice cream that the sky somehow seems bigger here in San Diego, and the sun is constantly filling it with breathtaking colors.
This year I have come to appreciate the sun for yet another reason–it keeps people experiencing homelessness warm and dry. It has only rained a few times since we arrived in San Diego a few months ago. Mostly just sprinkles, but recently we had our first downpour. As I sat inside our comfortable house listening to the soothing sound of the rainfall, I could not help but think about people who are living on the street and unable to seek shelter during this time. What will they do with their wet clothes? If they keep them on they will be at risk for health problems? But how do you take off your clothes if you do not have anything to change into or a private place to sit and wait while they dry?
Since beginning this year of serving at a medical clinic that works with people experiencing homelessness, I have been challenged in many ways. Hearing so many stories of pain and suffering has been extremely difficult. But the resilience of the patients that I have met so far amazes me. Just like the sun rises every single morning, people with incredible and unbreakable spirits get up everyday and work towards their goals. There is a lot of suffering and inequality that does not always seem like it can be reversed. However, I feel inspired knowing that places like Father Joe’s Village exist. There are employees at the Village who devote their entire lives to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness, and I feel extremely honored to be joining them in this mission. I have found incredible strength in my co-workers and patients, who have shown me that sometimes you just need to take it sunrise by sunrise.
San Diego, CA 2018-2019