Angels Among Us
Every once in a great while you come across a member of the community who goes above and beyond in countless ways. Open Door has been blessed over the years to have such a friend—who has given his time, his money, and used his connections to help numerous clients in need.
Through his business of selling health insurance, he grew involved in helping the less fortunate obtain health care. Access to health care is difficult in the homeless population, and many go to the hospital for primary care. In the past the Hope bus was a portable clinic available to this population. Once it was no longer available, our friend partnered with FaithHealth (now part of Wake Forest Baptist Health) to obtain nursing care for our guests at our Men’s Shelter.
In February of 2019, he and our staff cleaned out two rooms in our Shelter. He brought in supplies including gloves and over the counter medications, and began a weekly clinic staffed with nurses. Later, in the fall of last year, our friend also set up Snelling vision screenings partnering with America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses. Some of our guests needed further testing, which they received, and all who needed them received two pairs of eyeglasses.
That’s not all. Our friend arranged for health care workers to come to Open Door to hold trainings for the staff. Topics included the use of an AED, conflict de-escalation, and first aid.
Once he became acquainted with Open Door, our staff, and our facility, our friend also made sure other needs were met (unrelated to the health clinic) including a new water fountain in the Shelter, help purchasing a hot water tank, and an iPad for staff to use in case management.
When asked why he continues to do so much for Open Door, he responded humbly, “I guess it’s a Jesus thing.” God has placed an angel right in our midst.
(pictured is volunteer nurse Linda Newton interviewing a client in the Men’s Shelter)
by Peter Bolduc, guest of Open Door Ministries
Success is a relative term used to describe everything from Bill Gates’ level of wealth, to everyday common man goals of keeping the lights on and the rent paid. The decisions we make every day, every hour, are what define or destroy that success. It was a string of those decisions that landed me in jail for eight months and ultimately to become homeless and a resident of the men’s shelter operated by Open Door Ministries.
When I was released from jail, I exited with the clothes on my back, five dollars and a well- used Bible. After walking around town, just happy to be in the sunshine and fresh air, I quickly realized that I had no plan and very few options. Just as despair was beginning to take over, I remembered the jail chaplain had suggested that I should stop into ODM and perhaps they could help. I walked in the door with my plastic grocery bag of belongings and was immediately greeted by Will. By the grace of God there was an open bed and, swallowing my pride, I told him my background story which was filled with months of substance abuse and poor decisions. Without an ounce of judgment, he showed me my bed and gave me a tour of the facility, while telling me a brief synopsis of the programs available. He made it clear that as long as I was honest with him and just as important, myself, that he had a well -worn path to self-betterment.
Flash forward 67 days (a stay made longer due to covid-19) I have a full time job and am searching for an apartment. Equally as important as the job and housing assistance, ODM has provided me with substance abuse counseling and a stable, safe environment within which to get my life together.
I have made poor decisions in the past that brought me to the bottom of the matrix of success. With God’s grace and the tools provided by ODM and their staff I have attained a level of success not quite to Mr. Gates’ level, but certainly enough to be a productive, positive member of society and for that I am forever grateful.
Thank you all!
Barry came from Charlotte where he had significant mental health issues and substance use disorder. He’d been in and out of shelters for years. Upon his arrival at Arthur Cassell Transitional Housing for Veterans (ACTH), he was argumentative and struggled with following directions. Although he had income, he would frequently send his money to a “girlfriend” in another town. He would complain about “bug bites” that only he could see and demand to be taken to the emergency room for treatment, blaming the bites on “bed bugs” even though the bungalows were inspected by the exterminators who could find no source or bed bug activity. Barry went out on an overnight pass to visit his family and did not return for several days. He contacted staff and begged for a second chance in the program. Staff worked with Barry to get him into treatment for substance use. After 16 weeks in outpatient treatment, something clicked. Barry began to change his attitude. He began to find things to do around Cassell House to keep busy. He asked to do extra chores, and he loved to mop the floor. He was proud of the way he kept the floors clean. Finally, Barry approached staff and asked if he could get a job. He said he was tired of the way he’d been living and knew if he didn’t find something part time to stay busy, when he left, he would relapse. Staff worked with Barry to get him into a “back to work” program at NC Works. Despite his past criminal record, they accepted him into the program, and Barry began to work. Daily, we he would come back from working and be so tired he could barely stay awake for dinner. Despite that, he mopped the floors in the main building every night without complaint. This was the first time he had a job in at least 15 years. Slowly, he began to build up strength and energy. Barry was working at a charitable organization accepting donations in the warehouse. It was a source of pride for him. However, he feared he would not be hired on after the program was done because of his past record. He was so excited to learn he was accepted for a part time job there. Then Barry approached the staff and asked if they could help him with a payee. Barry was functionally illiterate and could barely read and write, so managing money was a struggle. It was hard for him to give up control, but he knew if he didn’t, money would lead him down a path to use again. So Barry signed the forms and accepted financial help. This was a huge step for him, and again he was proud he made the decision. Right before the beginning of the year, Barry moved into a cute little two- bedroom house in High Point. He was excited to have his own house with a little backyard. He comes back on Sundays to wash his clothes and have dinner with the other residents.