Today the first part of our day was free, so we slept in a little. Then we had breakfast at a fancy donut place. It was excellent, with very creative donut flavors.
After breakfast, we spent a couple of hours at the Des Moines Art Center. This free museum is tucked away in a neighborhood and hosts a delightfully broad collection of modern and contemporary art. We had a good time examining and pondering pieces from artists including Picasso and Warhol.
After the museum, we went to Joppa – an organization that seeks to build relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness so that they can gradually move into temporary and then permanent housing. Joppa’ work falls into five categories: outreach, housing, after care, education, and advocacy. They are currently working on developing a new housing area that will contain 50 tiny houses — this will be a neighborhood of temporary housing for homeless individuals who are transitioning to permanent housing.
While at Joppa, we packed toiletry bags in preparation for their annual homeless census. Once we’d packed about 100 bags, we wrote special notes of encouragement for each person who will receive a bag. Then we re-packed dog food and cat food into smaller bags so that it can be taken to people living outdoors who have pets with them.
After Joppa, we drove to Highland Park Christian Church, another Disciples church in Des Moines. There we helped serve food at their weekly community meal. This meal gives mostly older residents the opportunity to socialize, get out of the heat (many have no air conditioning), and eat a healthy meal. We had fun and also got to eat the meal before taking a tour of the church with Rev. Kara Courtney.
Now we’re chilling out at WDMCC before showers and bedtime. Looking forward to tomorrow: our final day of work.