Gerald Hammond spends more than 30 hours a week at The Salvation Army of Greensboro’s Center of Hope giving back. It’s a place he knows quite well. It was his home for a time back in 2009 after reaching the end of his rope, and finding himself homeless.
Gerald had spent time on the streets and in prison, so when he arrived at the Center of Hope, he found the structure and support he needed to get back on his feet. “They really cared about my situation despite what I went through in life, “said Gerald Hammond. “The staff wanted me to succeed and they worked with me to help me fulfill my goals and take the next step in life”.
Gerald was determined to turn his life around. He worked with his case manager, got a job as a janitor, and was placed in The Salvation Army’s Rapid Rehousing program. After graduating from the program, Gerald and was able to move into a place of his own.
For the next six years, Gerald made that place his home. He worked hard day in and day out at his janitor position. His goal of turning his life around became a reality and a true success story.
This past winter, the stability he gained through his hard work and self-improvement was threatened when Gerald's position got cut and he was laid off by his employer.
All of a sudden, Gerald was on the brink of homelessness and facing eviction from the place he had made home for the last six years. Fortunately, Gerald was able to again get help from The Salvation Army. Case workers were able to keep Gerald in his home and avoid another episode of homelessness.
The Center of Hope’s Crisis Assistance program is currently helping Gerald by providing him with groceries from its food pantry. While Gerald looks for a job, he spends his spare time giving back and helping out at The Center of Hope. He helps restock cans from a trailer to the very same food pantry that he is receiving assistance from. It’s something he says he’s grateful to be able to do.
“It warms my heart to be able to give back to The Salvation Army for the all the love they have given me,” said Gerald. I’ll do this as long as I can, even when I find a job. This is my home away from home.”
Gerald would like to find a job in a factory or warehouse. He can run a forklift, do assembly and machine work. He’s willing to do anything.
In the meantime, Gerald says he’s grateful that he can help others. “I love to help people. They didn’t close the door on me, so I hope I can help keep the door open for others.”
Gerald’s volunteer work is helping us help others through his service of time. He’s spent an average of 30 hours a week volunteering at our Center of Hope for the last six months. To date, that's 720 hours of time serving in our kitchen, unloading trucks, stocking our freezers and mopping our floors! He’s willing to do whatever needs to be done.
As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we want to say thank you to Gerald and all of the volunteers who help serve our community. Thank you Gerald for inspiring us and others to “Do the Most Good”.