The Baltimore Station’s volunteers have more of an impact than just providing and serving the men food. They give their time, their kind words, and serve without expecting something in return. The men are learning by that example and have taken an interest in serving others experiencing homelessness. When they were on the streets, they did not have the opportunity to give because they did not have anything to give. Now, with the help of The Baltimore Station they have something to give. In the past they served spaghetti with meat sauce and rolls under Falls Way and plan to do so again in the coming month.
When an organization like The Baltimore Station goes out to feed the homeless it is often interpreted as having an alternative motive to bring people into the program, even if it is just to help. The homeless community tend to be weary of treatment programs and other service providers, mainly because they are not ready to give up their lifestyle or activities they participate in while on the street. With that being said, many of the men have built relationships and trust before coming to The Baltimore Station and create a more relaxed atmosphere.
During our last outing to feed the homeless, before COVID, some of the homeless community recognize a few of the men from their time before The Baltimore Station. One resident watched a man walk up clutching his little bag of belongings. Once he arrived at the table, the resident piled a plate as high as he could. Our assistant clinical director Paul Martin watched this resident wondering why he was piling the plate so high. After he thought about it, he realized the resident saw himself in the homeless man that he was feeding. He gave the portion that he knew he desired when he was in the same position. Once dinner was served to everyone, the men would take their plates and go sit down to eat and talk with everyone. It is endearing to see the desire to do good that these men have. This also shows the large impact our volunteers have and how instrumental they are in the resident’s road to recovery. The men continue to ask when they can next go out and feed the homeless.