Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement #9

By Donna Clark RN, Director

It’s the end of the first quarter of the year and we are tallying everything for the grant reports. We look at number of people served and number of contacts. The number of people we have assisted financially for prescriptions, glasses and dental care and how much we have spent is information that is scrutinized and passed on to our grantors. I always get a “feel good” moment when it all boils down to what we have accomplished in the past 3 months. One of the most interesting numbers for me is the number of hours that our volunteers put in. They come in every morning with smiles on their faces looking forward to the next four hours and what it will bring. I have had this passion for many years but to see it in others just warms my heart.  We have a core group of 6 people that come every day and they bring their love, compassion, professionalism, and special gifts. In the last quarter they have put in a total of 772 hours. H.O.P.E., Inc. is so blessed! Another statistic you might like to know is 636 contacts with 297 being different individuals. As I add up all contacts from the soup kitchen, shelters, camps and on the streets of Salisbury we reached 583 different people since January 1, 2013. God is so good!

Last month I spoke about a client we collaborated with Health Care for the Homeless to provide care for his cancer. They were able to remove 4 of 5 tumors and this week he returns for more extensive surgery for the 5th tumor. He has been lost emotionally and he turned to a friend from his past for comfort. It’s very difficult, as you can imagine, dealing with such a life crisis event and having no one to share your burden. H.O.P.E., Inc. has supported him but we can’t be there in the early morning hours to help him with his fears. One of the key rules for remaining sober is to change people, places and things that can trigger your addiction. Unfortunately, this “friend” led him back to alcohol and he has had to start all over again.

He was in the office today and has been sober since we talked on the phone over the weekend. OK, we are three days sober and counting. He will not be allowed back in the shelter in Baltimore if he has alcohol in his system and he realizes this. It is certainly a great motivating factor in his sobriety now. Seeing his efforts; we paid for his return bus ticket to get back to Health Care for the Homeless. When my Board of Directors reads this I will hear that we broke our rules again but I think they will understand. He has further surgery ahead and has been told he will be in Baltimore for a while with radiation therapy and possible extensive bladder surgery. Please keep this client in your prayers. God is certainly doing a work in him at this time of his life.