Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Play

Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.

Play

Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

AARP Texas Honors Champion for the Homeless

Play

Tuesday, November 22, 2022   

Charles Ray Guidry Jr. spent years being homeless, often sleeping on cardboard in church parking lots. Now, he's a champion for others struggling to stay housed. The 61 year-old Guidry has been on what he describes as an "odyssey of volunteering" and has received the Andrus Award for Community Service from AARP Texas.

Guidry spends nearly every Saturday morning helping out with the Open Door/Fig Leaf Ministry program in Austin - a group that provides clothing, groceries, toiletries and counseling to the unhoused community of Central Texas.

"I always wondered what my passion was, my purpose - and I found it," Guidry said. "Cause, I mean, it's not a chore for me to do this - I love it. It's the highlight of my week - I love it."

Guidry is a former drug addict who spent 14 years in prison on a robbery charge. In addition to his volunteer work, he has found stable housing and works for a uniform and linen cleaning service.

AARP Texas State Director Tina Tran said the Andrus award highlights the importance of public service. She added that AARP values the spirit of volunteerism people make to their communities, and this award was special.

"This one stood out particularly because Mr. Guidry did suffer from addiction and was once unhoused himself, and so I think that is really what stood out to us for his story," Tran said.

Guidry often arrives at his Saturday volunteer shift from his home 30 miles away before sunrise to help prepare hundreds of hot meals to give away. He said when you see the impact of homelessness, you can't "un-see" it.

"It's just terrible. I mean. I got out through my faith, but a lot of people still out there, you know, they need an example. And I hope that I can be that - because they know me - I was out there for, like, seven years, and if I can do it, they can do it," Guidry said.

The AARP award includes a $1,500 donation to the charity of Guidry's choice, and he will donate it to Open Door Ministry.

Disclosure: AARP Texas contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …


Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Social Issues

Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …


Research indicates that the number of women who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury secondary to domestic violence is 11 to 12 times greater than experienced by military personnel and athletes combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…

Environment

A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

According to First Things First, 90% of a child's brain develops before he or she starts kindergarten. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …

Environment

An environmental advocacy group in Virginia has been working to bridge generational gaps. Third Act Virginia began as a group of elder climate …

Social Issues

In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021