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I Can't Just Sit On The Sideline

“There’s so much need going on. I can’t just sit on the sideline.”

Let’s go back to before Paul started volunteering at the Edmonds College Food Pantry to make sure his classmates had enough to eat. Before he began serving at the Lynnwood Hygiene Center – a converted emissions testing site – to ensure the homeless had access to showers, toiletries, and food. Before he went back to school and enrolled at Edmonds College, to become a Substance Abuse Counselor.

Let’s go back to the summer of 2018.

Before that, Paul had a career as an auto mechanic. But, a busted ankle left him in a wheelchair that summer. He’d struggled with alcohol before, but with no structure to those long days, why not take a drink? He couldn’t work – and maybe would never be a mechanic again – and was worried about losing his place in Lake Stevens, so he called 211. The operator connected him to VOA Prevention Navigator Anne Hoffman.

“She has been super. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have been able to make it.” Anne helped find rental assistance for Paul, first from one source than another. “It’s turned my world around,” says Paul.

“I feel blessed because of all the people who supported me.”

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