Hello friends, family, and casual blog visitors! My name is Zach Evans. I am a 22 year-old recent graduate of Stetson University. During my last semester of my undergraduate career, I decided to devote the next year of my life to volunteer service in the Young Adult Volunteer Program through the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. I participated in a mutual discernment process between the YAV Program and myself, which ultimately placed me in Denver, Colorado. There, I will be working and serving in the St. Francis Center, which is a shelter and service provider for people experiencing homelessness in central Denver. I couldn’t be more excited for not only the beautiful city that get to live in, but the opportunity for growth and servant learning through my experience with this community of “the least of these.”
The Denver YAV site is a partnership with the DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection). There mission is to “See the Face of God in the City” and they want to invite people to a paradigm shift as they challenge you to change your focus from charity to solidarity. I will be a part of their Dwell program, which is the yearlong stay dedicated to service, intentional community, discernment, and faith development. I will be living in a house with the other YAVs at the Denver DOOR site, but my intentional Christian community will extend farther to the community around me and to the homeless population that I will be working with.
One facet of the YAV Program is keeping up with a blog. If I am being completely honest, I am slightly nervous about this part of the program since I have never kept up with any sort of public sharing of my ideas. But at the same time, I am interested to try something new and see how sharing my experience and perspective on the world. I anticipate that I will gain a very unique vantage point surrounding issue of homelessness, which is an issue that I am already very passionate about.
As I mentioned earlier, I will be working in with the St. Francis Center, which is a refuge for men and women who are homeless in the metro Denver area. They work to provide shelter along with services that enable people to meet their basic needs for daily survival and to transition out of homelessness. On an average day, over 700 people will visit St. Francis Center, and that number grows to over 900 on a busy day. St. Francis Center treats everyone who enters the doors with dignity, respect, and love while offering them a safe space during the day. One of my goals in life and my future profession is to help those in need, this could not be a more perfect placement where I will be challenged and fulfilled!
I look forward to this wonderful opportunity and the chance to experience the love of God in new and beautiful ways. I hope that you will walk alongside me through this year and through this blog!