Johnny began his position as a dishwasher in 2013. He had been a guest of the Community Kitchen several times prior to being hired. He says, "I came to eat dinner and ran into Richard [Damiano's building maintenance coordinator]. He told me to come back and I came back."

He continues, "if I wasn't here, I'd have been in trouble. I'd rather be here than running on the street or something stupid like that. Most people don't care. I do. I don't want to be with them where they at, I'd rather be here instead."

When asked what is important about the Damiano Center, Johnny answers that "You can come here and get clothing and also to get help."

He continues, emphasizing how much support Damiano provides to guests and that he is proud to work here. Johnny's family doesn't live locally, and he mentions that he'd even like his family to see this place. "My niece and my sisters and my brothers. I'd like them to come up and see it."

Johnny doesn't feel like much has changed for him under COVID. He still works in the kitchen, even though his responsibilities have changed somewhat. He says that he does fewer dishes now, but "it's still the same to me. It doesn't bother me."


206 W 4th St

Duluth, MN 55806


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