“We put our own credit on the line”
Herb Konowitz, vice chair of Dover Interfaith Mission has volunteered there for eleven years.
“We get in here and treat them like family,” he said. “As a result. they respond and they love getting out and getting a job to make money. They move out of here and into an apartment.”
The mission’s purpose is to help those who are down and out, struggling to find a home, and who have a tough time finding work because of their recent criminal history.
Dover Interfaith has four transition houses, which hold up to 17 men. The men pay rent because the houses are rental properties.
“The houses are unsupervised,” Konowitz said. “The men live on their own, and housing includes food and utilities.”
All the workers at Dover Interfaith are volunteers.
Herb Konowitz interview (speaking on Dover Interfaith mission, and purpose )
Grady, who has been volunteering for a year, said her love for God, people, and her own troubled childhood inspired her to volunteer.
“I can remember just before I started college, I was selling furniture to buy some diapers,” she said. “Then I thought to myself, I need to go to school, I need to do something to help myself and maybe help others one day. I wasn’t homeless but being pretty close to that place made me want to help others.”
Karen Grady Interview (reason she joined the shelter & personal experiences)
He helps provide guidance to the homeless, including helping them obtain their goals.
Volunteers said they receive most of their help from donors.
“A good portion of (the homeless) get cars” to get to their jobs, Konowitz said. “People donate cars to us, we try to fix them up, turn them around and give it to the men.”
Volunteer Charles, cooks for the mission. He said he gets food donations from Olive Garden and Outback Steak House.
Dover Interfaith Mission also received a mental health grant from Bay Health Hospital Foundation. Konowitz said he hopes this grant will help those who have come straight from prison to their facility and who have been facing mental issues over the years.
Grady said the mission always needs volunteers.
“We could always use more help” he said. “We still need someone who sit at the desk answer the calls, as well for someone who can help to them how to use a computer. We could always use more help.”