At the end of this immersion experience I cannot say I am a veteran social worker or claim expertise in this area of service. However, I can say that it has been an extremely inspirational undertaking.
I come from an island in the Pacific that has no homeless population, and since arriving in Hawaii (Chaminade University) in 2008 homelessness has remained an issue close to my heart. I have worked both through the university and individually to tackle this problem. But as it is with every social injustice, the roots run deep and complete eradication is never a close possibility. Slowly, I began to realize that homelessness cannot be fixed permanently. And gradually, my determination and will power faded. I guess I was exposed to the problem long enough that I had almost accepted it as a part of today's society. The fact that I did not see that much people working together to tackle the issue did not help as well. I was ready to give up. However, all that changed when this immersion took shape and took off.
I saw in each participant, as we met the first day, the enthusiasm I once had. I felt at home right away, but I still had my reservations: What are we going to do? How much of an impact are we going to have? and how is this important to the homeless issue, and related social injustices? After the first day however, all doubts were gone.
Today, I am sitting here in the kitchen still amazed at how much people still cared. And in some way I felt guilty for giving up back in Hawaii. There is still so much positivity in a seemingly cruel world. JVC, Union Rescue, and countless other firms are working diligently day after day on no or little pay fighting social injustice. My eyes are opened once again to how we in collaboration can make a difference today. This trip has provided the inspiration I needed to continue to work unselfishly with no expectations. As Ignatius once prayed, "Lord give me the courage to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not seek for reward, save that of knowing, I do your most holy will."

Ut Umnes Unum Sint. Thank you UD, STMU, and my fellow Chaminadians (dont really know if thats a word) for giving me back the hope I had overgrown, and teaching me to take the world one day at a time.

Joshua Thinsew
Chaminade University of Honolulu


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