NORMAN — “We need help,” April Doshier, executive director of Food and Shelter, said Thursday afternoon during the Wings of Hope luncheon benefiting the agency.
“People come to us in the absolute worst times in their lives. Imagine if your life is crumbling out from under you and you have nowhere to live. You’re a mom, and you have no where to lay your babies down at night,” Doshier said. “I’d love to tell you that this is getting better, but I have to tell you that this has been a hard summer on our volunteers and staff.”
Doshier said Food and Shelter has had about 160 to 170 individuals daily seeking meals. Two years ago, daily totals were around 120, Doshier said.
The luncheon was a kickoff event for the Wings of Hope campaign, which would like to raise $25,000. Doshier said that through sponsorships, the United Way agency has raises $3,850 for the campaign.
The luncheon also allowed recognition of six individuals from Skills Training and Resources for Tomorrow. The program is a three-dimensional approach to employment readiness.
About a year ago, Food and Shelter partnered with Zena Amer of the Moore Norman Technology Center to provide in-class education and training for clients. Classroom sessions focus on communication, employee/employer relations, rules of employment and maintaining employment.
Antonio Butler, Gwendolyn Irvin, Tonya Johnson, John Langone, Lisa Martin and Nicole Gore Rodgers were recognized.
“They were great to work with. I’m so proud of you guys, very proud,” Amer said.
Langone said he has no clue where he would be if it weren’t for Food and Shelter. He’s also very grateful for the S.T.A.R.T program.
Langone was laid off from his job. When unemployment ran out, he was forced to sleep on friends’ couches.
“I got a little bit depressed when I couldn’t find a job. I was trying to find a place to live,” Langone said.