Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing
By Joyrenzia Cheatham
Eddie Jenks said he is blessed.
“It is hard being out here,” he said. Jenks is homeless. “I am trying to get assistance from everyone in the Dover area and sometimes it is hard, sometimes you don’t get it.”
This is where organizations like Dover Interfaith come in.
Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing is an organization that aims to end homelessness by providing men with housing, work, transportation and resources.
Karen Grady, executive director for Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, started volunteering at the shelter before taking her position.
“I started on and off for about a year,” she said. “The thing that got me started was my love for God, for people and I had some tough times when I was younger.”
Other volunteers include Herb Konowitz, Corey Clampatt and Earnest Bowden.
Herb Konowitz is the Vice Chairman of Dover Interfaith.
“We take people who are down on their luck and we give them substance and a place to sleep,” he said. “We then put them through a rigourous process to help them back on their feet.”
He said that 84 percent of the people at the shelter are working.
“No one else can say that,” he said. “About 60 percent of the men that come through the shelter come from prison.”
Corey Clampatt, who is a case manager at Dover Interfaith said he helps guide people that come to the shelter.
“We help people reach the goals they set for themselves,” he said. “Once they reach them, we reevaluate and set new goals until they are successful.”
He elaborates that he wants to help people.
“When God leads, I will follow,” he said. “If I spent everyday of the rest of my life here, I will only erase a tenth of the bad that I have done in my life.”
Earnest Bowden is one of the volunteers that cooks for the men in the shelter
“We get plenty of donations and we get food from many places including Starbucks and KFC,” he said. “We have a lot of stuff that comes through here so we keep it organized real good.”
“Last year we served 12,000 meals on a $0 budget,” Grady said.
“I tell people all of the time, donate,” Bowden said.
Jenks said the homeless are not there for handouts.
“We have to try and figure out what we can do and what we can’t do,” he said. “It is not easy, especially right now it is cold. There are people out here, I see them at the library everyday.”
On the wall is a calendar filled with dinners and lunches for the year.
Dover Interfaith is always looking for donations and volunteers. If you are interested, please call (302)-736-3600 or visit 684 Forest St. Dover, DE, 19901.