MSW students are making a difference with the largest homeless population in the United States. They are studying and volunteering in Los Angeles during May Term 2013. The three-week course is engaging the students in direct service, planning and administrative tasks. It's an experience they will benefit from throughout the remainder of their academic and professional careers.
Los Angeles Family Housing Agency
Students toured the facility, learned about its services and then worked with its clients in the community gardens. After a long day of work, students spent time at the beach to enjoy the warm evening weather.
Students spent the day at Midnight Mission in the heart of downtown and Skid Row, helping to prepare more than 1,500 meals. The class had the opportunity to learn about addiction and mental health and get a first-hand look at life on Skid Row. One student described it as the "most humbling, amazing experience" of her life. Students also had the opportunity to meet some of the individuals and case managers that were in the documentary "Lost Angels." The Midnight Mission administrators and case managers expressed their appreciation to the students for working so hard. As one administrator stated, "It's impressive that GWC has students who want to really get their hands wet and are willing to work for over nine hours in the trenches."
Ocean Park Community Center
The students also volunteered at Ocean Park Community Center, serving as triage workers with individuals suffering from chronic homelessness, addiction and mental illness. GWC also donated more than $400 to the center. The money was raised by the students during their last module of MSW classes.