Earlene Campbell was willing to do anything to help the Homeless Emergency Project, Inc., when she came to them eleven years ago. Needing the help, they ushered her into her into their kitchen, where she spent the day peeling potatoes for meals for the impoverished. The project quickly realized her potential, however, when her love and compassion for the homeless and underprivileged became evident through her interactions with them. Campbell was invited to become an Office Assistant. Since then, her friendly voice has been on the other end of the telephone, speaking to people who need her words of help and encouragement. As a receptionist, her smiling, caring face greets those that go to the Homeless Emergency Project (HEP) because they have nowhere else to go. Campbell does not treat the people she serves as they are charity cases; however she affords them the dignity she firmly believes they deserve.
A full career as an EMT, an ambulance driver, and an Emergency Room Registered Nurse taught Campbell a thing or two about hard knocks and injuries, both physical and emotional. Her varied life experiences have been blessings in disguise and assisted her at various points in her volunteer service. A man once came to live at Homeless Emergency Project who had had his arm amputated two days prior to his arrival. An error in health care meant that no one was scheduled to come care for his wound and change its dressings, which was a problem that was not corrected for weeks. Campbell had the knowledge and the generosity to care for this ailing man, who still resides (healthfully!) in the housing units. She has also stood in as a dental assistant when the HEP’s dental clinic was short staffed, learning what to do as she went along and providing much needed assistance.
When case managers are not available at HEP, Campbell is also qualified to do intakes of new applicants. While wearing this hat, she reviews the homeless person’s application, interviews them, and goes over the rules of the house. Campbell also enters their information into the computer system, shows them to their housing unit, gives them a key, and provides a bag of toiletries for their use. Campbell volunteers every week, and has been a constant face there since the day she was sent to the kitchen in 1994. She comes with a heart of compassion, dedication, as well as her ability to be spontaneous and flexible; and all of these qualities assist her in making HEP, its clients and its staff a better place.