This past week I was invited to Saint Joseph's homeless shelter on South Avenue near downtown Rochester. I was invited because there are members of the community who were concerned that my development project along with future development projects will contribute to the homeless population numbers.... not aid it.
I have done extreme things to avoid our city's homeless: ignored them, pretend they didn't exist; even been downright rude. I've been to soup Kitchens but I have never, ever stepped foot into a homeless shelter.... until now. Even this extremely limited encounter profoundly changed me.
I was so overwhelmed with emotions and thoughts after my visit that it took me hours to sit down and process what I witnessed.
I ended up learning that everyone has a story... and everyone is a person who deserves love and respect.
I also learned that we can receive wisdom, inspiration and understanding from the most surprising places. "Variety is the spice of life." They say. Inspiration usually comes from a path of thought outside of our normal day to day habits. It usually comes from the unusual person in our life. Expose yourself to what is outside your normalcy; you might be made uncomfortable but you will become inspired.
Matthew Drouin is a full time real estate investor and REALTOR with 12 years of acquisition, disposition, development and management experience in Rochester, NY.