Mendi Scott for Her Work with
Blessings in Disguise
Homelessness in our area is an ever growing problem. Compound the drug issues that every city in our area is facing; then you have what seems like a mix that not only ends in hunger and despair but also sometimes it ends in death. With the resources of state and local governments overwhelmed and with the massive task that local emergency personnel now face with the opioid crisis, local groups have begun to be organized to assist in dealing with the underlying needs and issues of those faced with the difficulties of both homelessness and opioid addiction. That is where Blessings in Disguise has stepped in to not only help the homeless population but also to help deal with those that are on the streets because of an addiction that has consumed them and destroyed their lives.
Mendi Scott, an organizer of Blessings in Disguise, hopes to assist those on the streets with necessities so they can focus on improving their situation, either through accessing local shelter assistance or even rehabilitation services to fight the fundamental cause of their plight. Blessings in Disguise provides backpacks full of food, toiletries and other essentials like hats and gloves, to those that are homeless in the Clarksburg area. Along with each bag of supplies comes information on local services that the recipient can gain access to. The impact that this effort has can be felt by the entire community. Her service to this vast issue for our area is why Mendi Scott was chosen as this month's Celebrating Volunteer winner!
“The homeless population in our area is much more extensive than many are aware of,” stated Scott. “You find locations that you would not expect people to be. It is my goal to make sure they have the necessities they need while offering them information on services that they can use to help them improve their situation.”
As a member of the community she serves, Scott sees the daily turmoil the homeless population in our area face. She spends countless hours making sure Clarksburg’s “regulars” are accounted for. She also keeps in close contact with a network of neighbors to discover the next homeless person entering our area and what can be done to help them.
“There are many times that we see a person just appear on the streets out of nowhere. Whether it be drugs or just family issues, I want each of them to know that there are people out there that care for them and want to see them succeed in life.”
“I see and hear about the effects of homelessness in our area constantly, and with the drug epidemic, it is not hard to see the effects all over the region," Marisa Matyola of WBOY stated. “The resources that Mendi thru Blessings in Disguise has a direct impact on the betterment of lives of many who are currently out on the streets for various reasons.”
"Seeing the statewide impact of homelessness and the opioid epidemic, it is going to take the work of everyone, including organizations like Blessings in Disguise, to help each impacted in our community," said Tim Miley, owner of The Miley Legal Group. “Mendi's organization is part of a foundation that continues to build to address not only the homelessness we see in our area but the opioid addiction that continues to foster problems for the entire community."
Currently, Blessings in Disguise operates out of space near the Huffman Corporation in Bridgeport. They are now accepting food, toiletries, hats, gloves, scarfs and even blankets that are compact enough to fit into a drawstring backpack. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit their Facebook page.
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The Celebrating Volunteers awardees receive public recognition for not only themselves but their organization. They also receive a $500 contribution to the organization they represent in their name. Gretchen Ross of WBOY TV and Tim Miley of The Miley Legal Group work together to select the awardees from the many nominations received from the public. The volunteer selected will have demonstrated their commitment to an organization through volunteerism and support.
“I am an avid supporter of volunteerism in our communities," Miley stated. "The Celebrating Volunteers program is a way that we can recognize the hard work and dedication of individuals across our region.”
We look forward to recognizing a number of worthy individuals while giving their organizations a part of the spotlight. The program will continue recognizing volunteers throughout the coming year. In order to nominate a volunteer to receive this award, please click on the Celebrating Volunteers logo.