Being an intern for The City Mission has opened my eyes to images that I had never encountered before. During my time here, I have learned that the homeless population is Cleveland is vast and that people in crises come from so many different walks of life—which is something that I never thought to be true for most of my life. After speaking to the men and women who are clients here at the Mission, I have found that people are in crisis for so many different reasons. Like the rest of us, clients have a story.
The Stand-In was something that I was interested in from the start of my time here. There is something truly heartbreaking knowing that there are nearly 3,000 homeless school aged children in the city of Cleveland alone. I cannot even begin to imagine how many homeless children there are in surrounding cities, our state, or even on a grander scale, our country. My heart breaks for the children without a home, without stability. Jesus has opened my eyes to the crisis and has pulled on my heart to bring awareness to the issue and to also bring recognition to those who are working day and night to find a solution. The staff at The City Mission put themselves second everyday so those who feel like less than the least can feel loved, heard, and valued.
When the semester began I was told I would be doing a lot of video work due to that being my concentration at school. With that being said, doing a video series as a lead up to the actual Stand In was exactly what I wanted to do. I had no doubts about it, and I thought that if quality time and effort was given to the series, so many people would say “Yes, I will Stand”, which was a driving force for me to complete this project. Over the course of my 10-week intern period, I interviewed clients from Laura’s Home, local churches in Cleveland, and an individual who grew up going to the Pathways Program and later worked with youth at The City Mission. It is my hope that within one of these videos there is something that would touch the heart of the viewer. I also hope that the videos would stand alone and can be seen even after the Stand In happens and for years to come as a reminder of what we are trying so hard to fight for. I thank The City Mission for opening my eyes and stirring my heart for the people in crisis in our city.
Written by Kyla Davis, Spring 2019 New Media Assistant