SLU LAW Students Serve Lunch to Homeless
A week away from final exams and a few days before Thanksgiving, a group of SLU LAW students took time out of their busy schedules Tuesday to lend a helping hand to some of their new downtown neighbors.
More than 40 students and a handful of SLU LAW staff members cooked and served lunch to more than 200 individuals Tuesday at The Bridge, the Centenary United Methodist Church’s homeless drop-in center.
The effort was spearheaded by SLU LAW Professor John Ammann, who invited students from his civil practice class and SLU LAW’s Civil Advocacy Clinic to participate. In the past, a group of SLU LAW faculty and staff members collaborated to do a similar service. Ammann saw this as an opportunity to include students in serving the downtown neighborhood.
"Our move has immersed the Law School in the culture of the downtown community,” Ammann said. “Today, we helped the law students have a deeper understanding that downtown is not just courts, law firms, and businesses. It's also homeless shelters and social service agencies. I'd call that a great example of our students serving God's people and carrying out our Jesuit mission of service."
The SLU LAW group served salad, chili, sandwiches, hot side dishes and dessert and handed out drinks to a capacity crowd. Ammann said the event had a big impact on the students, as several asked if they could come back again to help serve lunch again next semester.
“I've lived downtown for the past two years and I also intern in the housing and homelessness project at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, so I'm familiar with the homelessness problem that St. Louis faces,” said SLU LAW 2L Ashley Gatlin. “I think it’s wonderful that so many SLU students showed up yesterday to help other members of the downtown community. I really enjoyed the opportunity to serve and do my part to give back to the members of community most in need.”
"I'm sure our civil practice class will remember our morning at Centenary Methodist Church for a long time," said 4L Kenneth Leiser. "Preparing lunch for 200 people and then serving it took a lot of coordination and hard work by my classmates and members of the law school faculty who made it such a success. It was a privilege to be part of it."