Most of the homeless are just normal people

May 30, 2014

I first found myself in my Mom’s Buick driving to the soup kitchen. I was wondering how it would go. Are the people going to be mean or nice? What if I spill the soup all over the floor? Will Mrs. Dale get mad at me? There was too much to think about, so I took a deep breath and dropped all of those questions running through my brain. Before I even realized it, we were already there.

“Are you ready?” my Mom asked.

“Yep,” I answered.

As we got out of the car, I saw a cream white church, relatively small, to my right. Behind the church were many gravestones. To my left was the soup kitchen with an old woman wearing a white, stained jacket and ripped jeans. She was smoking a cigarette on the front porch. We said hello to the woman and walked into the soup kitchen which smelled like homemade chicken noodle soup with some unsettling odor. Inside, Mrs. Dale and a bunch of her helpers welcomed us.

“Here to help?” Dale said.

“Yes,” I replied.

I then started to set the tables for their Christmas dinner.

After I was finished with setting the tables, a lot of the homeless started to enter with a loud chatter. They all seemed to be so happy. With the life they must live, I would have thought they would be depressed, not happy. As I looked around, I tried to imagine myself in their shoes, but tried to focus on the task so I remained helpful. I started to serve people a choice of soup, veggies, mac and cheese, and turkey. Many of the people thanked me after I served them food.

Once everyone left, I thought we were done. That is when I was told that there was still a whole busload of people coming. I didn’t complain because helping the homeless made me happy and was enjoyable. After the final group was done eating, I began helping with the take-outs.

“Six take-outs,” Mrs. Dale yelled.

“Four more,” someone else exclaimed.

“Hey, get me four take-outs please,” a homeless man said to me.

After the take-outs slowed down a bit, I decided to grab some soup because it smelled good and after all, I was hungry after all that helping! I grabbed a bowl of thick and blazing hot chicken noodle soup. The soup was actually really tasty. The kitchen soon had very few people in it, so my Mom and I said our goodbyes and headed out of the door.

When we were in the car, I thought about what the homeless felt like. They were probably thankful for the food, but at the same time thinking about what they were going to eat the next day and where they were going to sleep. I then thought: “Most of the homeless are just normal people that have had an unfortunate couple of years. They are no different from us. They’re normal. “Normal.”

Caden Schell

Editor's Note: The writer is a sixth grader at Sussex Academy.



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