Another volunteer joins the Roof Above staff! In 2017, Roger Jones began volunteering at our Tryon Shelter, helping shelter guests with job searches and resume writing. He recalls a time when he helped a guest practice mock interviews, and the guest got the job. What a great feeling to play a part in someone’s success! Soon volunteer coordinator Elane Stinson tapped him to anchor the front desk once a week, being what Roger calls “the face of the organization, the first person you talk to” when a person experiencing homelessness arrives seeking help.
Then COVID-19 hit in March 2020 and all in-person volunteering at Roof Above campuses paused. Roger stayed in touch with Elane, asking how he could still help. He and a fellow volunteer began coordinating daily lunches for hundreds of shelter guests who had been moved to motels for social distancing. (Read more about this effort at Lunches Made with Love – Roof Above)
In September 2021, with safety protocols in place, Tryon Shelter reopened to receive guests and volunteers were invited back. At the same time, our new Howard Levine Men’s Shelter on Statesville Avenue opened.
Elane had a question for Roger: Was he ready to help in a new capacity – as a staff member? The answer was yes. “I want to support our guests. I love hanging out with the guys.”
As a part-time volunteer coordinator, Roger divides his time between the two shelters, coordinating volunteers in the shelter kitchens, resource labs, and basic services. He also conducts tours of the Howard Levine Men’s Shelter. But we agree that Roger’s greatest work is still as that friendly face that guests see every day.
“I see individuals that need support. Some need a lot of help, and some just need a smile every morning, maybe just a small thing. I make sure to say hello to every person here, to let them know, I see you, I’m interested in you. That’s what I try to do every day,” said Roger.
We appreciate you, Roger! #HeartForTheWork #EndHomelessness