I'd like to introduce you to Jennifer. Jenn's got a super bubbly personality and is a bit of a practical joker. She certainly keeps us hopping. Jenn came to us as a client years ago. After a time her life settled, she found some stability and decided to join the team at Outreach.
Jenn came to volunteer at Outreach because
she felt she needed to get out of the house and connect with people; make some friends.
"It was a lack of self esteem really. I didn't speak to anyone when I first came to Outreach. Then Hilda put her arm around me and said I want to be your friend. That really made me feel special. Then Kathy said she needed a hand and I helped out, and slowly it turned into a regular gig and I became part of the family."
There was a point where Jenn didn't come for a while but then Myra phoned and offered her a volunteer position and she agreed! The rest is history.
At Outreach Jenn really enjoys making friends with all of the guests and staff. She enjoys snapping pictures and relating with everyone who comes through the doors.
"I have things in common with both sides, clients and volunteers who come here. I can relate to everyone because I've been both." Jenn also enjoys the fact that she can give freely. When she is sorting in the donation room she loves to set aside specific items that she knows would suit particular people. She loves to help people find bedding, or shoes, or whatever they are looking for.
Jenn is our back of house supervisor here at Outreach. Three days a week she does all kinds of things that keep Outreach prepared and ready to serve our guests. She set up the food room before the doors open to public so that they are ready to go when people come in. She also trains people in the donation sorting room and hygiene room. She instructs new volunteers on what jobs need to be done in the kitchen and does laundry for a number of guests who have no where else to clean their clothes.
"Outreach has given me a sense of purpose. It has given me reasons to come out of depression. It gave me opportunities to connect with people who also understand what we go through. It's safe here. I don't feel like I'm going to be hurt here, where I felt unsafe before. Outreach is my family."