Christmas 2012 offered a memorable experience for 16 Seattle Pacific University students. During the first five days of Christmas break, they discovered something of what it’s like to be homeless through Urban Plunge, an immersion program of SPU’s John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership, and Community Development.
The students say they were nervous to panhandle, and humbled to seek food from a street mission. But they came to like and respect the people they met on the streets of downtown Seattle. Sophomore Katarina Krueger remembers the words of one homeless man: “People are beautiful. You just have to know how to approach their beauty.”
Stereotypes were shattered during the week. “We met a working family who was foreclosed on after receiving a costly medical bill,” says senior Michael Gencarella (right, pictured with Krueger and sophomore Spencer Swansen). “Homelessness could happen to anyone.”