Patricia Hosmer cares about her community. Since 1973 , Ms. Hosmer, along with her husband, Philip, has dropped off thousands of quality, hand knitted mittens for the children of our clients. Their timely donations arrive every fall, and have helped hundreds of young children stay warm through the winter months of Cleveland. Patricia & Philip are shining examples of how members in the community continue to uphold the legacy of May Dugan!
For Laura Rodriguez and her family, the May Dugan Center was more than just a building; it was a link to help, hope and a better future. Her family’s
involvement with the center began in the 1970’s when Laura and her brother, Jose, participated in May Dugan’s Youth Coral Camp during the summer. Growing up in the near west side, the Rodriguez’s, along with a majority of other families, struggled financially. During the holidays, the family participated in our Adopt-A-Family program and took part in the Food and Clothing Program every month. Laura recalled several occasions where the only food in their cupboards was that from May Dugan’s Pantry.
As she grew up, the center began to play a larger role in her family’s life. The Rodriguez family has a history of battling mental illness. From 1993-1998, their mother, along with Laura and Jose, sought counseling sessions through May Dugan. The center was there to lend a compassionate hand to help the Rodriguez family regain hope and control of their lives. In addition to receiving counseling, services such as food and clothing, employment, and educational programming through the Education and Resource Center provided the caring support system they needed. Our proven holistic approach helped Laura and Jose realize their full potential!
Laura went on to earn her Associates Degree in Political Science from Cuyahoga Community College, making her the first one in her family to earn a college degree! She resides in Lorain County and volunteers her time to the Young Latino Network, RTA Advisory Board, and the Hunger Network. In addition to Laura’s success, Jose passed his GED in November! He is currently applying to AllState Hairstyling and Barber College on Lorain Ave. in Ohio City!
Lynn Hazzard, a client at May Dugan has been a long time participant of Food Day. When the Health and Wellness Program started up, Lynn immediately joined and became one of the 1st participants. Lynn has suffered from high blood pressure and has Osteoarthritis. Since joining the health and wellness Program Lynn has completed a 4-week nutrition class, Breast Cancer Prevention class, and a Diabetes Awareness class. She would often bring her friends to the classes with her.
Lynn still participates in monthly health screenings. Lynn says “Since participating in the nutrition classes, I’ve changed my eating habits and have started eating healthier . . . My goal is to become more educated so that I can lead a healthier lifestyle and manage my chronic illness.”
Peter is from Sudan. He’s a tall man and one of the ‘Lost Boys” who fled Southern Sudan in 1987. He has been working steadily on his GED while learning English, maintaining employment, and living his life in Cleveland for over a decade. He’s a quiet man who avoids the spotlight and looks at me sideways whenever I praise his diligence and dedication to his studies. Last fall, I saw him passing my window clutching at the broken strap of his drawstring backpack. Thanks to generous donations of school supplies, I had a backpack I could give him to contain all the homework he carried back and forth to May Dugan.
Many of our students carry their work in cobbled together bags and packs, Even though most of our students ride bikes or come on public transportation for classes, they rarely have the sturdy, weather resistant packs necessary for the commutes they make. All that to say, we are deeply grateful for the backpacks.
Even though most of our students ride bikes or come on public transportation for classes, they rarely have the sturdy, weather resistant packs necessary for the commutes they make. All that to say, we are deeply grateful for the backpacks.
Before finding her way to the May Dugan Center in 1990, Cheryl Hughes, 54, was homeless and spent 7 years living in parks, Women’s Shelters and Row Houses on Cleveland’s West Side. For 3 years, Cheryl benefited greatly from the Center’s Case Management and Counseling Program. Her 1st Case Manager, Carol Romano, helped Cheryl secure food, clothing, and counseling that helped her regain control of her life. She found stable housing through another local nonprofit agency.
After years of permanence, Ms. Hughes became extremely sick from black mold in her apartment and tragically endured the death of her son. With her illness and severe emotional stress, Cheryl’s life quickly spiraled out of control, as she once again found herself homeless and all alone.
She returned to the May Dugan Center in February of 2012 and, since then has been an active participant in several of our programs and service including our monthly food and clothing program, mental health counseling, and furniture distribution. MDC Case Managers were able to find her affordable housing in the near west side and she has maintained her apartment since last July. Cheryl enthusiastically praises our staff and has referred to May Dugan as her “Guardian Angel.”