March 22, 2017 1:03 PM

Millikin University students are providing services at Oasis Day Center for the homeless several times throughout the spring semester under the guidance of Dr. Mary Garrison, professor of social work at Millikin. Dr. Garrison and the students have been providing services since last semester after being introduced to the concept during a visit a year earlier to Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.

"You can connect with people quickly because you can just be with someone and not have to have direct eye contact until you get to know each other," Garrison said. "Building relationships is essential to what we do in the helping professions."

As part of the services, free manicures are offered every couple of weeks at Oasis Day Center.

Lesa McMahon, a senior psychology major from Decatur, Ill., is one of the student helpers and wants to learn how to achieve a comfort level in face-to-face interactions, as she hopes to become a couples counselor after completing graduate school.

McMahon says she gets satisfaction in being able to care for other people, even in such a small way.

"I'd encourage other people to do little things like this," McMahon said. "It doesn't have to be some grand gesture to help."

Click here to read more in an article from the Herald & Review.

Mary Garrison Homeless Help
Photo courtesy of the Herald & Review