Here are some success stories of our volunteers and residents, please take a moment to read through and see how Welcome House really does make a difference!
Spotlight on Emily
Sometimes we are surprised and very inspired by a youngster in our own family. It happened to Emily. Once she discovered that her grand-daughter was serving food at a Soup Kitchen. Emily was so impressed that she soon followed suit. She started out stacking shelves with donations and eventually she began to serve food to the guests.
Later, Emily went to the Charlestown Senior Center where she distributed and served food. There she enjoyed engaging with older couples who played cards together and who loved her sandwiches.
Then, during some time volunteering at Crossroads where Emily made assorted sandwiches and prepared numerous other foods. She went on a catering truck and served from there. It was very evident that she loved the guests she was serving. Her service has become a lifetime commitment.
Wanting to volunteer closer to home, one Monday Emily walked into Welcome House where she discovered that they were in need of a volunteer to prepare and serve lunch every Monday. Happily, she accepted the opportunity. Because she believes in the mission of the House and loves each guest, Emily has been here for three years every Monday!!!
Congratulations and thank you.
Interview Corner with Sue Williams, Wakefield
Sue is a mother of five who started volunteering at Welcome House in 2013. She chose Welcome House because she enjoys cooking and wanted to share that experience with the guests in the house. She also wanted to be a role model for her children instilling in them the importance of helping others. Her impressions of what a homeless shelter would be like were formed from the media. She expected to find people who were down and out living in unpleasant conditions. Instead she found a clean house and a vibrant community, with people easy to talk to making it a very enjoyable and satisfying experience. One that we hope she will continue well into the future.
“The Welcome House helped me build a structure in a positive environment, getting me back on track with goals and be able to save money and be an adult,” said Justin, who struggles with alcohol and gambling addictions, but has been sober for three-and-a-half months. It’s been 90 days since Justin arrived at Welcome House and he recently moved into the transitional housing where he is eligible to stay for up to a year. For two years, prior to arriving here, Justin said he felt stuck and had no plan and nowhere to go. Now he has two jobs and is working his way toward independence.
“Welcome House has helped me with big issues in my life,” Justin said. “It’s all coming together now. I had a distant relationship with my family for a while for my own faults. I contacted them and told them I’m trying to do the right thing and explained the program I was in. All of a sudden, I’m talking to my parents again and I’m seeing my siblings.”
In one of the transitional housing apartments under renovation, Dan, a plasterer and carpenter by trade and transitional housing resident, said he is close to finishing his work to house Welcome House guests.
“We’re all trying to do the right thing here,” Dan said, adding he takes pride in making things as beautiful as they can be and is grateful to have shelter and employment. “Through my addiction, I always worked. But it was ugly. I was trying to pay for a family and trying to pay for my addiction at the same time.”
Now, he advises Dziobek on economical ways to perform building projects and loves the ability to work in peace and quiet.
Erin, a recent transitional housing resident, said unless you know about the positive things happening inside Welcome House, people might accept the stigma that surrounds homeless shelters. She has been sober since August, works in Wakefield and recently purchased her own furniture for her apartment.
“This place made me feel like a person again and got me back out in the community,” Erin said.