Maurice started working at the Damiano Center in 2018 as the weekend custodian. He was a volunteer previously for about six months, working closely with Damiano's building manager to keep the building clean and well-supplied. During this time he got to know the organization and its staff and guests.
Maurice says that Damiano is important because “it helps the people who don’t have nothing, it helps the homeless.” He shares that he likes his job in part because people appreciate the services so much. They can eat for free no matter who they are.
When asked what has changed for him due to COVID, he sobers and says, "A whole lot of change. Things been getting shut down. People catch COVID-19, and a lot of people die. It’s something I ain’t never seen.”
Maurice's job has changed significantly as well. As a custodian he was responsible to keep the building clean, and was often in the dining room cleaning up during and after meals. Now that the building is closed that workload has reduced. There are also no volunteers, so Maurice has been supporting food preparation and distribution efforts. If you visit on the weekend, you're likely to see Maurice out in the parking lot ensuring that meals are available for guests.
For those who have never been to the Damiano Center, Maurice wants them to know that “they can come and enjoy themselves, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can visit Damiano and there are a lot of programs they can get help from."