During my time in the Chiku service group, I actively participated in the direct service by helping the homeless community around the Kotobukicho area. I went to the center twice a month in the mornings and lunch.
Talking to these people in needs made me understand that they are put into their circumstances because of multiple unfortunate events. Additionally, further research and discussions with the managers helped me understand the difficulty of getting out of this poverty cycle. These talks help me realize that they are people like us trying to make the most out of their lives, but with the lack of job opportunities around the area and the gambling/drug addiction that is highly predominant, they are in the state they are currently in.
Furthermore, talking with these people broke down the walls that separated “them” from “us”. Some of the casual conversation on enjoyable topics really put us closer and develop a stronger sense of community with them. At the same time, I also felt more responsibility on how my actions could impact them, making me want to work harder on the advocacy project I have.