What I Learned from Volunteering

By Jon Lonardo, VOICE vendor

Photo by Jesse Borrell.Before I was homeless, I was narrow-minded in a way. There were some people I never would have given the time of day to. After I was homeless, I began to see people in a different light. When I travel around town, I like to help people find information they need. If I meet someone who needs help getting an ID, food stamps, or Medicaid, I tell them where to go.

Even to this day, I like to help. Volunteering makes me feel like I mean something to somebody. I learned I like to help.

I’ve volunteered at Samaritan House as a house man in the men’s overflow shelter. In order to be a house man at Sam’s, you have to set up and tear down the overflow dorm. You eat, sleep, and live in the “shelter from the storm.” You learn to listen for somebody’s cry for help in the middle of the night.