Tonight as I was walking up to the Shelter to volunteer I ran into a homeless family outside of the building. One of the children was a sixth-grade girl, and she was playing a clarinet! She was pretty good, and seemed really excited to be playing!
I was so happy to see this!
I talked to her for a few minutes, and then went inside to start my shift. Each night I sit at a desk and help one of the staff members check people in for five hours. I'm simply amazed at how many people live at the Leon County Shelter. On any given night there are about 160 men and 60 women/families in the building. Unfortunately, due to limited space - about 80 beds, several people sleep on mats on the floor of the dining area at night. It's incredibly tight in there, too. Some nights 10 - 20 of the men have to sleep outside after they've checked in simply because there is no room to sleep on the floor of the facility.
About two hours into tonight's shift I approached the mother of the girl who was playing clarinet outside and offered to give her free clarinet lessons once a week for the rest of the year. I figured that if the family was staying at a shelter, they definitely didn't have the funds to hire a private teacher. At the same time, I really wanted to give her the opportunity to have some quality instruction on her instrument at a young age.
I really hope her mother calls me to schedule a weekly time. It would mean a lot to me.