Story posted February 04, 2010
Your alarm goes off and it says 5:30AM. For most college students, this would be a nightmare. But for the participants in this year's Alternative Winter Break trip with Preble Street in Portland, this is just part of the daily routine. Each morning, the group was busy in the kitchen of Preble Street, an organization based in Portland that provides a variety of services including meals to the Portland's homeless population, cutting potatoes, making soup and line serving. The most valuable part of this experience for students was being able to meet and learn the stories of the people who come there each morning. After helping with this, students would split into smaller groups to organize clothes in the clothing closet or sort food for the heavily relied upon food pantry.
This is the second consecutive year that Bowdoin students from all classes have opted to come back to school a week early and explore issues of homelessness and housing in Maine. The first year, there were only 5 participants, but this year the trip doubled in size to eleven people. Despite some complications from Mother Nature, the trip was still a great success. The group stayed on campus at the Multicultural House, but spent most of the day in Portland and Brunswick working with local organizations, including Homeless Voices for Justice (HVJ), Portland Housing Authority, Tedford Housing, and Logan Place.
If you are interested in learning more about the trip, please contact Samantha Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Katherine Stewart (email@example.com).
"We tried to plan the trip so that as the week progressed, participants could gain a broad perspective on the situation of homelessness in the Portland and Brunswick communities."
— Samantha Collins, 2011. Trip Co-leader.