The Pine Street Inn This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Pine Street Inn

by S. B., Abington, MA

It was a cold, dark and dreary day as I drove into Boston with my father. It seemed appropriate as the rain began to pour from the black clouds hanging overhead. Before I knew it we were at our destination, an old dilapidated factory known as The Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter for men. As we drove through the gate, I noticed men, some young, some old, entering the front entrance of the building. I remember thinking that some of those men did not look homeless.

We were greeted by a middle-aged man with a grey ponytail. He spoke briefly with my father and soon we went into the building. When I entered the room, it looked like a cafeteria. Tables and chairs all neatly lined up and people walking around talking to each other. We met four other people from my father's office. We were told that our job was to serve the evening's meal to the people. Soon we were led to a service station in the middle of the room. Before us was a dinner consisting of ham, potatoes, bread, lima beans and yogurt. My particular job was to dish out the potatoes.

Soon the men were called up to the counter by table. It was very neat and orderly. At first I just dished out the food without looking at the people's faces. But as time went on, I found myself looking up every now and then. Every time I looked at someone, I saw a different individual. I think that as a society we tend to stereotype homeless as drug-using, mentally ill people who are just lazy. By working like this, I realized that this is very untrue. I am not saying that all homeless people are victims of circumstances, but we must remember those who are. Think about it, how many people do you know who would say thank you for a meal of ham and lima beans served on a yellow or green tray?

Volunteering at The Pine Street Inn made me very grateful for what I have. I definitely plan to continue to work there.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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