By Mary Jantsch
Class of 2013
Walking through the doors of the Union Gospel Mission, Gonzaga senior Kora Kilpatrick wasn’t sure what to expect. Volunteering to serve dinner to the less fortunate, she was welcomed as a guest, a witness to the ambiguity of homelessness.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than 23,000 people lived without a home in Washington state in 2007, and Spokane is the fourth-worst city its size in the country for homelessness. As the community events coordinator for the Gonzaga Student Body Association, Kilpatrick decided enough had been said about the problem. For her, it was time for action.
“I thought that finding something in the Spokane community would be best,” Kilpatrick said. “It’s supposed to be about engaging the community. I don’t want Gonzaga to be a secluded school where we just go to class.”
From serving dinner weekly, working at the UGM Thrift Store and bringing in homeless guest speakers, GSBA members continue to break barriers while living out the University’s Mission of being men and women for others.
“We are all a part of the Spokane community,” Kilpatrick said. “We need to disregard stereotypes so we can see these people as real people with real problems.”
Kilpatrick urges all students to get involved in the community and help out, even in small ways.
“Our campus as a whole should be a reflection of Jesuit philosophy,” Kilpatrick said. “The experience of being a Gonzaga student is not just about community, but about developing a sense of service in yourself that will hopefully carry on after graduation.”
To help the homeless, contact Laurie Wilson at (509) 535-8510.