Antioch lends hand to help the homeless

Alyssa Estrella

It was a chilly Monday night in Corvallis and a house of 60 men carried boxes full of donations and supplies and headed over to a nearby local skatepark to have dinner with the homeless people.

Winter is a tough time of year for the homeless community living in Corvallis; however, and many people are willing to help. Antioch House, a Christian fraternity at OSU, is one of the many organizations helping the less fortunate during the cold months.

David Madison, Antioch’s chapter president, went around town on his bike and invited local homeless people to a BBQ at the skatepark and around eight people showed up to the event.

“We’ve been planning to this for a while,” said Madison. “We wanted to get the guys excited in helping serve the homeless, so we took the entire house and the guys had a good time.”

Their social chair, Matthew Schramm organized the outreach and was inspired by his parents who helps out with the homeless community in Portland. The group of men, with Madison and Schramm’s guidance, headed over to the local skatepark where they handed out hot dogs and gave out clothes and blankets. They also stayed to talk with the homeless group who showed up.

“It’s not just handing things to people,” Schramm said. “If you stop and converse with them that’s something they’ll remember, because not many people do that.”

He believes that talking to people ministers to what they actually need. He claims that a true meal is sharing relationships and being at the dinner table with someone is supposed to be intimate and real.
“It takes people who are able to listen, talk, shake hands and show you really care about them,” Schramm said. “Sometimes homeless people don’t feel cared for and that’s easy to see.”

Some of the guys in the house decided to break up into smaller groups and wander around downtown Corvallis in search for other people they could help and hang out with. Justin Jackson, a member of Antioch House, said that his group wandered towards a bike trail Southwest of campus, and they found tents and he and five other guys found a guy named Bob sleeping in the tent with his dog.

“We came right up to his tent, shook his hand, sat down next to him and offered him cookies,” Jackson said.

Their adventure did not stop there, later in the night they met a husband and wife, in front of Dutch Bros. They gave the remaining food and water they had from the BBQ to this couple while Jackson and his group also sat and talked with them.

“I think the couple enjoyed our company,” he said. “She hugged all of us as they were heading out.”

According to Schramm and Madison, the Antioch House plans on hosting a weekly outreach where they feed the homeless. However, because of the small crowd that attended the first event, they decided they are going to bring a group of two to ten guys.

“It meant more to the homeless that we genuinely cared about them. They enjoyed having us hear their stories,” Jackson said.

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