By Shad H — Security Team Staff Member
Before I started working here at the DI back in November 2009, I had worked at other homeless shelters. I discovered, really quickly that the DI is different; in a good way. The difference is that the DI is a small town in a BIG City.
Now let me tell you what I mean. With all small towns and cities they have a City Hall. Well the DI City Hall is the 6th floor administration. We have Directors who run the DI. We have a Medical Clinic that has a Doctor and Nurses to help in a heartbeat. The DI Security Department is the Protection for all the Staff and over 2000 Client’s that walk through the Door day and night. The Kitchen is our little restaurant with no meal being the same. There is also a Library, “Book Nook” that lets the imagination grow through books and a Counseling Service for those who need someone to talk to and for help on many different levels. The maintenance team keeps the place clean and operating smoothly and the Adult Care Workers are like the town workers; they work with the Clients and other services within the DI, providing front line services and keeping the place humming day-to-day.
So here comes the “BIG” eye opener for me when I started working for the DI. The Client’s are a HUGE Community within the bigger community of Calgary. There are so many Clients who take pride in this Town called the DI. Their Pride for this place has a lot of them volunteering for a couple of hours a day to all day long.
One of the things I wondered was, why spend your whole day volunteering? Don’t get me wrong, we need their help, but there are so many things that they could be doing other than giving back, yet, lots of them volunteer. As I got to know some of these people who help out I found out some amazing reasons why they do what they do for the DI.
One client told me that the DI took him in when he was down and had nowhere to go. DI Staff treated him with so much respect and helped him get back on his feet to the point where the path of his life is looking brighter each day. Another reason from another client is that she looks at the DI as her home. She hates to see her home messy and dirty. Her favorite saying is this; A Clean home makes a Happy Family.
There are many inspiring stories of why so many Clients help out. But one thing I’ve realized is they want to be part of this Community that is called the DI. A Community that has Love, Care, Compassion, just like a Family.
Clients look out for each other, just like families help each other out. When someone is upset, they are there to comfort and give a hug. They help those who need help because most of all, they are people just like you and me.
These are the people who make up our town, this amazing community called the DI.