We talk about it a lot. The cycle of poverty this. The cycle of poverty that. We talk about how terrible it is, how hard it is to get out of, and we keep trying to think of more ways for people to escape it. This whole summer I am working with many people who are trapped in the cycle of poverty. My heart breaks for them as I learn more and more about how awesome a lot of these individuals are. But, what about us? Are we in a cycle, too?
I was reminded of this by one of the sweetest men in my group, who is affectionately known as PawPaw to most. During our routine lunch yesterday while sitting under a shade tree, he started talking and I started listening. He said probably one of the most profound things I've heard in a long time. After we visited the Harbor Light Salvation Army center yesterday, he realized that we, too, as middle class individuals are caught in the cycle of pushing the homeless away. Since 1861, when Salvation Army was started, people have been pushing the homeless away from the church. This was the very reason the SA was created because the church wasn't helping them, so somebody needed to. It's still the same today in many churches. If a homeless person walked into a church today, would they be welcomed with open arms? Sadly, probably not. It just makes you think, what vicious cycle are you caught in? Sometimes this perspective can change everything. That was certainly the case for me yesterday.
-Crystal, CSM Houston Summer 2010 City Host
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