Relationships Put a Human Face on Homelessness for Students

Hawken School Senior Hannah O’Day admits she had preconceptions about the homeless when she signed up for an elective class on homelessness.
Hawken School Students Monica Sass (left) and Hannah O’Day with Joseph’s Home Facilities and Operations Manager Edison Mosley, II at the Joseph’s Home Christmas party.


But when teacher Jack Breisch assigned her and classmate Monica Sass to spend a portion of their fall semester at Joseph’s Home, she was given a unique chance to get to know the issue
– and the people – up close and personal.


O’Day and Sass got to know Joseph’s Home residents over meals and spent time with them playing games, doing puzzles and socializing. They also created time capsule questionnaires for residents to complete at their arrival and again at their discharge.


What did they take away from their time with the residents of Joseph’s Home?


“Through this experience I learned the truth,” said O’Day. “They are normal people just like me.”


The highlight of their field experience at Joseph’s Home was the Christmas party as O’Day and Sass distributed gifts to current and former residents. It was also bittersweet because it was their final day and there were some sad goodbyes.


“I definitely made a few friends along the way,” said O’Day. “Joseph’s Home impacted me immensely and I know Monica and I would both love to spend more time there.”