Manchester Universities Catholic Chaplaincy
Our MUSCC SVP President (and Uni Student), Ryan Khurana, speaking about the issue of homelessness in Manchester.
I have participated in homeless runs three times, and each time they get better and better. It is not only the fact that you are doing something nice for someone else, but also the meaningful conversations you have with the different people you meet. These people are normally ignored by many with the excuse that looking at them may make them feel "bad". Through this experience I have learned that it is the contrary. While they are grateful for everyone's generosity, they are most grateful for a wave, a hello, or a conversation. Stopping and listening to their stories is amazing, a one of a kind experience. The first run was quite intimidating, as I was not confident in how I should approach anyone. But in the process I have learned to simply say "Hi, how was your day?"
During my three runs I have had the pleasure to meet Paul and Mr. McNeill - they both have unique stories. For example, Paul has already been featured in a few documentaries and has been on the street for over 32 years. The first time I met him he recited two poems to me. The next time I saw him he asked me to recite one for him. I did, but since I only know poems in Spanish, it was a Spanish poem. When we finished, each reciting one, he said that next time, thanks to his great memory, he would be able tell me this poem in a foreign language word for word. I am very excited to see him again. This is just one story from one run. There are so many we live every night and things I have learned about values, views and even the geography of China (a long story for another time).
~ Ana (SVP Student Volunteer)
Ana, Silvia, Luca and I went on a soup run yesterday. We met 28 people even before we got to Oxford Road station (30 in total) and ran out of everything except for two bags of crisps. We had many good conversations with Manchester United fans teasing our two Manchester City fans (and vice versa), and with Sonny who is absolutely sure he will win the lottery one day, amongst others. We had long conversations with Tommy, our poet (poem below), as well as David, an artist who showed us his amazing paintings. He also told us: "God is love. It's as simple as that. For years, I couldn't see that, but now I do." Astonishing.
A poem which Tommy gave to us:
"I miss you more, my darling, each minute that goes by
If only I could have a wish I’d wish that I could fly
For I’d fly past every shining star that’s in the sky sublime
By passing each and every cloud I’d make my way to you
And when I got to you my love I’d fly down by your side
And there I’d stay my darling until one day I died
But this wish is like any other wish, I know it can’t come true
But one day soon my darling, I’ll be there and home with you”
Thank you, Tommy!