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DO Something: An Eye-Opening Experience
By Meiko Drew - October 6, 2009

My four-women group began to hear talking from trees in the hillside above us. Volunteers for DO Something Southeast San Diego October 3, we had been assigned to clean up the rock-lined creek just behind our drop zone of Market Creek Plaza.

We stopped to listen, to make sure we weren’t walking into trouble. The voices were those of fellow volunteers, so we decided to go see what the commotion was about.

What we didn't know was that the region was home to several homeless people. What we encountered at the “home on the hill” was gut-wrenching.

The ground was cluttered with tissue paper and trash. Approximately 50 40-ounce bottles were stacked outside a living area. They were filled with urine. There was a mattress, sheets, and clothing hanging from branches.

How would we feel if someone came and rummaged through our things? Or even if someone threw away the only items we owned?

Armed with plastic gloves and heavy duty trash bags we began picking up the mess. But we couldn’t decide if morally we were doing the right thing by clearing out what looked to be someone’s home. How would we feel if someone came and rummaged through our things? Or even if someone threw away the only items we owned? What if the recyclables we were taking were used for income?

We were torn as to what was right and what was wrong. My friend, Jini Hogg, was even asked quite sincerely by a transient, “Please, please, don’t take my clothes.”

Finally we talked about our experience with Pastor Ricky Page. He explained that as a church we were committed to the city of San Diego. The city had designated the area as a major problem. The trash ended up flowing down the creek and causing a build-up. He said the city hoped to not only clean up the trash in the area but improve the living of these individuals. This wasn't the way anyone should live.

The experience truly brought light to an ongoing problem that exists within our city, which has a population of almost 7,600 transients. (See www.rtfhsd.org/pdf/rhp%201.13.09.pdf.)

Overall, DO Something Southeast San Diego was an eye-opening experience that truly built camaraderie amongst our members and helped bring appreciation for what the Lord has blessed us with. I ask that we continue to keep the city and those less fortunate in our prayers.