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  • Writer's pictureAaron Axford

First Impressions of the Damiano Center

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

Hello, my name is Aaron and it’s my second week here at the Damiano Center as an AmeriCorps VISTA! I will be here for one year to help with the growth of each program and connect us more with outside organizations around Duluth. I’ve volunteered with the Damiano Center before, but I never thought I would get the chance to help out every day!

On my first day, they showed me to my own desk located right inside the Community Services room. Luckily, I’m not all alone, because I get to share the room with the Community Services Specialist, Doug Happy. Doug is like a guide for the guests of Damiano to a ton of services around Duluth that can help them out! When I talked to him, I learned about all of the different services he can help people with. Guests who are struggling with housing can get connected with organizations nearby that focus on providing housing and emergency shelter.

For those who struggle with addiction and chemical dependency, we can connect guests with recovery programs tailored to their specific needs in the Duluth area. Finding employment can be difficult without some basic skills or access to information about jobs. Community Services works with employment training providers and others who can give people the chance to work hard and learn new.

Some of the services that fascinated me the most were the direct services like providing people with simple, but important hygiene items such as deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Doug says that the deodorant and toothpaste are the items that go the quickest, and sometimes we run out of these. Lastly, there are mailboxes that can be used by guests who are homeless and don’t have a home address for mail to be sent! They can receive mail and stop by the Community Services room during open hours to check it. I have never seen a program do that before. It was exciting to see the innovative ways the Damiano Center serves the needs of people who don’t have a lot.

The amount of services that the Community Services provides for people is incredible. I look forward to working with Doug and learning about the other programs that the Damiano Center has. Check back every week for blog updates about my experiences and information about all the programs here!

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