The Brightside: Helping the homeless
DOVER, Del. – At some point in our lives, we all go through hard times. For some, it’s worse than others….but for every person who is down on their luck, there’s another who wants to lift them up.
Vaughn Nash is a perfect example of that.
Nash said, “I helped a guy just recently get a job and he came back and was like ‘Oh man, thank you so much!'”
Nash, a veteran, works as a Peer Recovery Specialist at the Hopes and Dreams Peer Resource Center in Dover, the same center he went to when he was homeless.
“So yeah, I’m what they call the success story from the streets to end up working here after I was coming here as a client,” he said.
Nash now works alongside others like Holly Rybinski who comes from a similar background.
Rybinski, a Peer Supervisor at Hopes and Dreams Peer Resource Center said, “I have been in prison, I’ve used drugs, I was homeless.”
At this resource center, peers like Nash and Rybinski use their experiences to support and inspire those who are currently in a tough spot.
Nash said, “I would say 20% of the guys that come in here, I knew them before I ever started working here.”
The goal is to serve as an example that they too can make it out of their current situation.
Rybinski said, “So we have this place where you can openly share and talk about what you’re going through with other people that have been through what you’ve been through.”
Day in and day out, these peers provide guests with the essentials.
Wendell Price, a client of the center said, “You can get food, shelter from like rain, and have a place to use a computer so you can get a job.”
But that’s not all. While guests are at the Peer Resource Center they also can catch up on some TV, take a shower, get a hot meal or even do their laundry. They can also connect with important resources to help them get back on their feet.
Rybinski said, “People come here and ask us hey how do I do this? And we give them the resources or help them work through that process.”
Many of the Resource Center’s guests have big dreams.
Stephen Ross, a client said, “[I want to] open my business… basically self-employed, demolition.”
So the hope of the center is to help people succeed, hence their name: Hopes and Dreams Peer Resource Center.
The Hopes and Dreams Peer Resource Center is able to operate with the help of donations from the public. We’re told Wawa, Pizza Hut and people from the Elks Lodge frequently bring them food, and others in the community often donate things like laundry detergent, deoderant and more.