This year we wanted to highlight a person whose life Trinity Center has had an impact on and who in turn is making an impact on others. Every so often the love and generosity of time and service can inspire others to do likewise. It is part of the story of Daniel in his time at Trinity Center when months ago he stumbled upon a volunteer opportunity and has been a bright light for all those around him.
Daniel is currently unhoused and has been in and out of incarceration for the past 20 years, a scenario that is not uncommon among the people Trinity Center serves. Austin is home for Daniel, and his introduction and time with Trinity Center began around 2018. When asked about the first visit to Trinity Center he said, “I came for clothes, food and a place to ‘be.’” He became a regular and developed friendships and relationships with Trinity Staff and volunteers. When asked if there were any changes that have been noticeable from 2018 to now Daniel stated, “It hasn’t changed at all…. The hospitality of people like you (Trinity Staff) and how you’ve made me feel—it’s like there’s still people out there that are nice, caring and stuff like that. It hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s even gotten better.”
Daniel has benefited from many of the services provided by Trinity Center—Breakfast, a mailing address, clothing, showers, ID assistance, completing a coordinated assessment for housing, applying for benefits like SNAP, and insurance. Earlier this year Daniel was encouraged to step into a volunteer role with Trinity Center by preparing and serving breakfast throughout the week. When asked about why he serves he said, “It makes me feel good to know I can help people. God likes that.”
Living out the values of service and loving others for Daniel began during his time in high school where he stated he had a ‘spiritual experience’ that has had a significant impact on his life. He believes such service and love in action can bring hope and stronger faith for others and it’s why he serves along Trinity Center staff and volunteers. When asked how Trinity Center has impacted his life Daniel stated, “You all give people hope. Besides an ID, a Coordinated Assessment from a Social Worker…….I’ve gotten counsel from all of you. I’ve seen how you handle people, the way you talk to them. Some churches and organizations are just doing the work, but not showing heart. Trinity Center shows heart.”
We are grateful for Daniel and his serving spirit. Stories and experiences with Trinity Center like his exist because of the people like you who have supported our work and mission for so long. Our foundation in radical hospitality and care, as well as the living out of, “loving our neighbors as we love ourselves,” continues to shine brightly for the city of Austin to see. Thank you!