Over the past 15 years, the leadership of Good Works have developed a wide range of WALK experiences ranging from a focus on food insecurity to employment, mental health, housing and the extraction industry in Appalachia. The February 18th, 2017 WALKS featured the following experiences:
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE HOMELESS: A simulated experience.
Most of us will never know what it is like to be without a home or support system to assist us in a point of crisis. This WALK experience explored many of the different factors people without homes face each day as they try to navigate the complex world of living in a shelter, finding adequate food, seeking and maintaining employment, planning a future and navigating through the struggle of poverty here in rural Ohio. Participants walked to a location in uptown Athens where the homeless simulation took place.
MAKING A HOME (In Appalachia)
Just as an individual’s circumstances do not define his or her identity, the struggles of Appalachia does not define this region’s identity. In a community of hope we find people creating a home in the midst of difficult circumstances. This Walk experience was designed for people who have never been to the Good Works WALK before. Walkers were introduced to issues of poverty in Appalachia, heard several former residents of The Timothy House speak and took a walking tour through our home for people without homes here in SE Ohio.
WALKING WITH JESUS
What would it look like for us to treat people who are overlooked by our society with importance and dignity that they deserve? This Walk explored some of the foundational beliefs that stem from our Christian Faith. Walkers learned from the life and stories of Jesus and the way he approached vulnerable people. Walkers heard some of the real stories of our neighbors and celebrated the good things that can happen when we treat people as Jesus did. The WALK ended in a time of worship, celebrating the goodness of the Lord!
STICKING TOGETHER: What is it like for a family experiencing homelessness?
This Walk illustrated through a dramatization, what it’s like for a family with children experiencing homelessness in Appalachia. What does it look like to move into the Good Works Timothy House as a family? Can you bring pets? Do you have to share a room? Participants on this Walk experience heard answers to these questions and asked some of their own. Families with children were encouraged to join this WALK!
HOMELESS BY CHOICE?
Keith Wasserman, the Founder and Executive Director of Good Works talked about what he has learned and observed over the past 25 years in the 11 cities he has experienced homelessness by choice. This Walk was open to anyone but was especially developed for people who desire to participate in the Good Works WALK yet had difficulty walking. This WALK experience was primarily presentation and discussion and the walking distance was very short, only 1 block from First UMC.