BEST OPPORTUNITY TO CLEANSE YOUR SOUL Minneapolis 2000 - the Simpson
In the down-and-out crowd, the Simpson is known as the best place to sleep, short of a pad of your own. The staff is stern yet understanding, never dispensing so much as spare change for a bus ride, but offering effective programs geared at helping homeless people onto their feet and into apartments. The space itself is well-maintained with a fair amount of attention paid to detail--the snorers sleep apart from the rest, and there is a supply room well-stocked with (donated) toiletries and clothing, including underwear sorted by size. The operation, which is run by two full-time staffers, could never manage without consistent chunks of volunteered time: After all, it's the volunteers who stay over at the shelter each night when the staff goes home. And while we could insist that the best reason to volunteer at Simpson is to hear war stories of narrow escapes from police, train-hopping, and street-living (rest assured, you will), the real benefit is that you'll learn some little-known facts about the New Economy.