I spent time volunteering at the Women Alive shelter in Salinas, California. This program grew from the good work being done at Dorothy's Place and was the first place of its kind to give homeless women a safe place to sleep at night in the area. I was humbled to serve those women and to hear their stories. I met a veteran in her 20's, a former corporate sales manager, and a teen pregnant with her first child. This experience changed the way I think about homelessness, because I learned how rapid the descent into poverty can be when no social safety net exists. My fondest memory here was throwing the women a pizza party and serving out homemade cupcakes.