Denise, better known as Dee, started out volunteering with New Hope Housing in the education and employment resource center, where she worked one-on-one with shelter clients in their search for employment. One of the largest barriers from moving out of a shelter and into stable housing is unemployment or underemployment. Dee helped clients apply for jobs, update their resumes and work on interview skills. Dee then began volunteering with the development team, assisting with inputting donor information into the database, as well as other needed administrative tasks. Dee connected her organization, Les Gemmes, with New Hope Housing to provide additional volunteer meal servers at New Hope Housing's annual Black History Month celebration and the "Out of Poverty" class. Dee is also an integral part of the Giving Hope Tours, during which she speaks about her experience as a volunteer and why she has become so deeply involved with the work that New Hope Housing does. Having her speak at the tours gives attendees a peek into how community members can make an impact on the clients that New Hope Housing serves.
Sami Smyth, a volunteer coordinator at New Hope Housing, says “Dee has been one of our most proactive volunteers turned advocates. Not only does she serve, but she has also opened up her network to serving, inviting new individuals from the community to learn and participate in work that New Hope Housing does.”