Herrin House of Hope teams with Americorps to serve community - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Herrin House of Hope teams with Americorps to serve community

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- The Herrin House of Hope, with help from Americorps, is giving back to the community through a free lunch program for those falling on hard times.

There's almost nothing that helps warm you up on a cold day than a hot meal. That's exactly what people are getting at the Herrin House of Hope.

"We eat here every other day and we've been coming here for a while," explained Energy resident David Diaz.

When Diaz and his wife Deborah fell on hard times, they turned to the Herrin House of Hope.

"They help out a lot of people," explained Diaz.

Director John Steve calls helping people less fortunate his passion because he's been there, during his five-year prison sentence.

"I was able to hit my rock bottom and I was just praying and crying every night for a second chance," explained Steve.

"The road blocks I had to face helped me become the man who I am today, because when I came down here six years ago I didn't have a dollar, a job and didn't know anybody in southern Illinois," added Steve.

So Steve joined Americorps, an organization helping not for profits like the House of hope when they're short handed.

"Just assisting them to help with their life and get them back on target," said Americorps employee Shara Robinson.

Americorps doesn't just help those in the community, they help their workers like Robinson.

"My intentions are to try and go back to college so it's going to help me with some schooling," said Robinson.

Where she plans to use her experience working for Americorps to help her succeed at college.

"Counseling, social work and counseling," said Robinson.

As lunch time drew to a close, Steve couldn't help but think of how different life is now.

"Now I can be that beacon of light and share that hope, the same hope that was freely given to me," added Steve.

Something many people at the Herrin House of Hope are thankful for.

"He's come a long way," said Diaz.

For more information about the Herrin House of Hope and the services they provide, click here.

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