The real impact of IHOC’s programs can hardly be encapsulated with a few facts and figures. To truly appreciate the positive effect our outreach efforts have had one needs to become a little acquainted with some of the people we have helped out over the years.
Mark- Just a little over a year ago Mark was living under a bridge in Camden and felt he didn’t have anyone to rely on. However, that all changed after he heard about and decided to enter IHOC’s Homeless Hospitality Network. Mark was taken in by IHOC and provided with a safe place to sleep away from his old hangouts, fed every day, received life and career counseling, and given emotional support by IHOC and its network of volunteers. Mark was also enabled to reenter the job market after receiving job hunting advice and bus passes from IHOC to search for work. Today, less than a year after completing the program, he is back on his feet, still off the streets, working full-time for a produce company, and feeling much better about life. Mark likes to describe how IHOC changed his life: “IHOC weaned me back into life. I had been in other programs but IHOC was the best… My self-esteem and confidence has been restored. [IHOC] gave me the opportunity to make choices and pull out of the situation I was in… Before I didn’t feel like I had anyone. Now I know I have a network of good, positive people and my family is proud of me… IHOC gave me a whole new outlook on myself and life and for that I’m grateful.”
Monty- A few years ago a series of unfortunate events and a few bad choices rendered Monty homeless on the streets of Camden. “I had lost my house, kids and job and was extremely depressed,” Monty recalls. With no job or prospects he was feeling trapped and wanted to change his life around but didn’t know where to turn. It was then that he met Sonya Jacobs, IHOC’s primary case manager, at a homeless shelter in Camden. Monty was introduced to IHOC’s Homeless Hospitality Network by Sonya and decided to enroll in the program. It was at this point that his life took a drastic turn for the better. “IHOC helped me immensely- it was an awakening. I saw people care about me more than I was caring about myself and was able to realize what led me to where I was.” It was through that support that Monty was eventually able to pull out of his situation and secure a full-time job at the Philadelphia Sign Company.
However, Mark and Monty were hardly the only previously homeless men to change their lives around with the help of IHOC. The following is a list of just some of the other people IHOC has touched over the years who are now back on their feet.
Tony P. – Tony is living in Camden, NJ.
John B. – John is working at the Philadelphia Sign Company in Palmyra and is living in Merchantville; he also operates a growing landscape business.
Kevin W. – Kevin is working at the shipyard and living in IHOC’s Permanent Housing Program.
Kevin T. – Kevin is married and living in Lindenwold
Jim B. – Jim is living in Mount Laurel and participating an independent living program.
Thomas D. – Thomas is married and living in South Carolina.
Charles W. – Charles relocated to Virginia in August.
Joe R. – Joe is working for Goodwill Industries and is living in Oaklyn.
Danny H. – Danny is still working at Genardi’s inCherry Hill.
Thomas S. – Thomas is living in Camden.
Trevor B. – Trevor is living in Camden and working for a security company.
Robert O. – Robert is living in Camden.
Monty B.– Monty is recuperating at an Assisted Living facility.
Milton M. – Milton is working for Conrail and living in Barrington.
Van J. – Van is living in Oaklyn.
Dan F. – Dan is living in Camden.
Danny P. – Danny is living in Camden.
Rabbi H. – Rabbi is living in Camden.
Derrick A. – Derrick is working for the Work Group and living in Camden.
Jake H. – Jake is working at California Pizza Kitchen and is living in Camden.
Mark B. – Mark is living in Camden.
Larry T. – Larry is living in Gloucester City.
James C. – James is a part-time driver NJ Transit and living in Woodlynne.
Jasper L. – Jasper is working for Party Tents and is living in Burlington.
Jay E. – Jay is living in Delaware.
Joe P. – Joe is working for BP gas station and living in Berlin.
“Roc” – Roc is living in Collingswood.
Levi C. – Levi is living in Collingswood.
Moses F. – Moses is working in Philly and living in Camden.
Richard M. – Richard is working for Respond and living in Camden.
Tom B. – Tom is working at Wendy’s and living in Somerdale.
Felipe N. – Felipe died on June 18, 2011.in Somerdale.