Dupree is Damiano's newest staff member with just about two months of work under his belt. He began in the Cook role right at the time that the building was closing due to COVID-19 and the service model was changing. Before he was hired, he had been a guest several times. He has a lot to share about his new job and how much it matters to the him and to the community.
He believes that Damiano is important because of "reasons like the pandemic...we're out here helping the community when most of the community is closed down. There's limited resources out there." He continues, "When the community fully opens back up [Damiano] is a place where someone can depend on."
When asked what motivates him to come to work every day, Dupree says, "It's times like this when things are hard and you're helping out people. That motivates me a lot, that love, that helping out any way that I can. It's not just about serving the food. You have elderly people who don't have anything. I like that we give out extra things, even during these times. We give out socks...and extra stuff that people are not able to get to. The helping out part really motivates me."
Since he is so new on staff, Dupree doesn't have much of a frame of reference for what working at Damiano was like before COVID. He mentions that we're not serving hot meals and then says, "hot meals are a way to people's heart" with a chuckle. It sounds like he has just the right mindset to be a cook at Damiano.
Dupree thinks it's important for the community to know that "if they need anything in any area they can come to Damiano. They can depend on us."
He also believes wholeheartedly that he works with an excellent group of people, and that there is a bright spot to COVID from the perspective of team-building. "This is an opportunity for us to build a better bond. When we do open up we will be a stronger team."