Have you ever driven up to garage door of our temple and wondered who those people are, gathered around the building next door? They are people who frequent that blue building, the LivingRoom Drop-in Centre. (Following exerpt taken from http://lookoutsociety.ca/LivingRoom.html)
“The LivingRoom Drop-In Activity Centre was opened in 1993 to provide a welcoming and safe hang-out for the mentally ill.
Located at 528 Powell Street, this is a large, bright and safe space for people to come to.
The Drop In offers a variety of structured and unstructured programs to encourage participation of people, particularly those who are not already involved with the formal mental health system. A particular goal is to teach social and life skills so as to enhance their ability to maintain a stable and as independent as possible living
Here are the stories of a couple of real people who find comfort from the services offered by the LivingRoom Centre, and whom our youth might help (taken from http://www.homelesspartners.com, a website where personal stories of homeless people from several cities from across North America are posted, allowing anyone to donate gifts, or send messages to specific homeless persons in specific shelters.):
“Ray A. is 43 years old. He was born in Nelson, BC, has lived in Vancouver for the last 20 years. He has worked in general labour (copper work). He loves facts and figures, loves metaphysics, religion. His desire is to study and learn, but his mental disability keeps him from doing this. He loves the word “community”, a “sense of where people belong”.
“John S. grew up in Nova Scotia, but has been in Vancouver since 1979. He has worked as a sound engineer but his biggest challenge now is making ends meet on disability and a pension. Still, he is encouraged daily by the people around him.”
These are people just beyond our doors, who can teach us to be mindful of how truly fortunate we are in our own circumstances by allowing us to give them a meal, our effort, and our time.
This is another opportunity for the youth to work together and extend their gratitude beyond the temple walls.