“Friends of the Homeless of Tuscarawas County” provide hope to our neighbors in need. Here are just two of their stories……..
[00:00:09.060] – Matt
The Friends of the Homeless of Tuscarawas County opened its shelter in October of 2005. Since that time, the shelter has provided more than 178,000 bednights to more than 4000 men, women, and children. Additionally, the Friends of the Homeless have provided services to more than 6000 people who were not guests at the shelter. But this is more about statistics and numbers. This is about helping our neighbors get back on their feet. It’s about helping our neighbors with a fresh start, helping our neighbors build a new life. It’s about people like Angie and Steve, former shelter guests, who are now back as Friends of the Homeless volunteers.
[00:00:55.740] – Speaker 2
As a guest, When I first associated with this place, I was in rehab. I came from rehab straight over here. And it was scary because I never knew about the homeless shelter, never heard of it, didn’t know what to expect. My experience was different. There’s all walks of life here. And no matter what, though, everybody still looks out for everybody. And the staff here is amazing. And they were actually willing to help. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without this place because they have set me up with an apartment. They gave me the time to get a savings account, my bearings together, everything that I needed to be a success going forward in life. When I was here, my dad passed away, and I never felt so much love and so much support than I did here with all the other guests and the staff. It’s truly phenomenal, the love that everybody has for each other. I want to help as much as I can now, other people, I see a need for it, and it fills my heart so much to be able to do the things that they did for me, for other people.
[00:02:25.750] – Speaker 2
Everybody needs a second chance. Everybody needs that to know that somebody cares. Because I know from experience, I came here hopeless and abandoned issues because my family didn’t want me anymore. They didn’t want to help. And these people have nobody, obviously, or they want to be here. They need this in their life. They need that little push. They need that little encouragement, and this is what it is. This is the place for it. That hope that everybody needs.
[00:03:10.030] – Speaker 3
I ended up being a guest here first. I didn’t want to come here. I didn’t by any means. I had the same stigma in my head as everybody out there. Almost shelters full of drug acts and drunks losers. That’s what I had in my head. And I’m not that guy, but I was that guy. If you look at my history, you wouldn’t want to talk to me. You keep this stigma that society has given us. But we can be rehabilitated. We can resume a normal, functional life to where we’re an asset to the community, not a bird, just by places like this. If I went anywhere else, I wouldn’t, Be who I am today, So I come to this shelter and I’ve seen others doing God’s will, and I’ve seen it, so there’s one part of it, and then I knew it. And now I’m doing it because I Am a very important part of the help that happens here. We’ve created programs, portions of the programs, like social and soldier, where I just go out to the picnic table sometimes because the guests will talk to me. The people that work here, I don’t think they could make enough for what they do.
[00:04:56.190] – Matt
So what do you think you’d be if it wasn’t for this place?
[00:04:59.940] – Speaker 3
I’d be living in under a bridge in Canton. I don’t think, by the way, I’m Going to correct your word. Answer that question. I know I would still be living Under a bridge and can’t be eating out of a dumpster with a needle Hanging from my arm every day. Because there’s nothing to change my thought process. There was nothing to stop the ongoing Circle of it all.
[00:05:27.930] – Speaker 3
I knew The fact that I want to go help humans that are less fortunate or maybe just stumbled, not less worthy, just tripped and fell They don’t want to hand out. They don’t want to cheat like that, They want to hand up, Can you get me through this? Couple of days, week, a month, whatever it is, so I can get back on my feet? It’s proven itself to be valuable and successful over and over and over again in my eyes.