Spotlight on Emily
Sometimes we’re surprised and inspired by a youngster in our own family. It happened to Emily. She found out that her granddaughter was serving at a soup kitchen, and was so impressed that she followed suit. She started by stacking our shelves with donations, soon after she began serving meals to guests. From here, Emily began volunteering at the Charlestown Senior Center where she distributed and served food. She enjoyed engaging with older couples who played cards together and who loved her sandwiches. Emily then offered her support at Crossroads, making sandwiches and prepared meals. She extended her service by working on the catering truck and providing emergency food on the streets. Wanting to volunteer closer to home, Emily came back to Welcome House three years ago and serves lunch every Monday. We are so thankful for her dedicated service to our community.
Interview with Sue
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.
“Welcome House helped me build structure, 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 over a year now. Justin arrived at Welcome House’s emergency shelter and continued the program for 90 days. He then moved into transitional housing where he is eligible to stay for up to a year. He now has a job and is working toward further 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.”
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. Because of Welcome House, she remains sober, has a job 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.