Kevin began as a volunteer at the Cosgrove Center, helping keep the place clean and distributing food and clothing. He worked in maintenance for Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority for 23 years before he was shot in both legs while being robbed and had to stop working to recover. He wanted to keep busy and help others less fortunate. He has now been employed at Cosgrove for nearly three years and is happy to be there.
“The Cosgrove Center makes a big difference – with food, clothing, and hygiene for the homeless. It’s hard out there for a lot of people. A lot are mentally challenged, and some are physically challenged. There’s no one else in our area doing what we do. Cosgrove is my family, with some of the nicest people you’d wanna meet.”
Kevin is 60 and a graduate of John Hay High School. His family always had jobs and never needed services like those at Cosgrove. Working there has helped him grow in compassion. “You could be a paycheck away from being like these people. You can’t live in a home without income. Your only alternative is a shelter and someplace like Cosgrove.”
For Kevin, the hardest part is accepting what he can’t change. He serves many unable to live on their own due to mental illness. “Thank God for Cosgrove. They get two meals a day and someplace to go when it’s cold, because shelters put them out in the morning. They can come here, get warm and get a shower.” It’s been especially hard for the homeless during COVID, with fewer people allowed inside at a time. Every morning at 8 a.m. there’s a long line at the door waiting for food.
Kevin is grateful to donors who provide financial support, donations, and volunteering. Walking to work from his downtown apartment, he stays motivated by asking himself, “Whose life am I going to change today? We encourage them to do better for themselves, but it’s hard when you’re mentally challenged or have no family support. We can’t turn our backs on them.”