What do you think of homeless people? If you’ve never actually talked to one, how can you possibly know what you should think?
For all of her life, she had been unintentionally discriminating against the homeless population. She had assumed homeless people must all be crazy or doing drugs, she said.
But when her daughter took a field trip to San Francisco to work with the homeless population, Mayer learned differently.
Because she didn’t feel comfortable allowing her daughter to go on the mission trip alone, Mayer attended as well.
There, she met with a young homeless woman who changed her views on homeless people.
“I had thought they were crazy, addicts or filthy,” Mayer said. “My whole outlook toward homeless people completely changed.”
She returned home and after about three years of working with the local homeless population through her church’s youth group, she started the nonprofit YouthHope Foundation.