Mobile Loaves and Fishes Street Retreat

Elena Gonzalez

On January 3, 2014, a group of about twenty Austinites traded in warm beds and cozy homes for a “storm drain that was nice and flat” (Quote from Ellen Witt-Ortiz, one of the Austinites on the immersion experience).  Instead of a filling meal, they ate only a handful of rice for dinner.

Why? It was all to raise awareness and gain more knowledge of how the homeless live every day.  For the 12th year of the Mobile Loaves and Fishes Street Retreat, the participants didn’t just talk the talk, but they walked the walk.

The president of Mobile Loaves and Fishes stated, “We believe that the single greatest cause of homelessness is the catastrophic loss of family and we believe that is a spiritual problem. It’s not just a structural problem.”

After a weekend of concrete beds, the Austinites left with a better understanding of what it’s like to not have a place to call home, to be homeless, and they know that something needs to be done about this major issue.