“Work completed by former graduate – current Clean Team employee” (ALLENTOWN, PA) –When the word “homeless” comes to mind – what do you think of? A person holding a sign on a street corner? A person without a job or employable skills? This is sometimes the case, but more often than not – it is not. One of the Allentown Rescue Mission’s former graduates and current employee of the “Clean Team” – Curtis Fuller proves those perceptions wrong! Since fall of 2019, Curtis has been singlehanedly refurbishing over 13 dorm rooms in the Allentown Rescue Mission’s 2nd floor dorm. Floors were sanded and refinished, walls repaired and painted, old furniture discarded, new furniture acquired and assembled in its place.
All of this was done for one reason – to make these rooms a nicer place to live for the men the Allentown Rescue Mission serves. To say it was “A labor of love” is an understatement; it means much more as Curtis had slept in those beds earlier in 2019. Curtis says, “I was incarcerated before coming to the Allentown Rescue Mission and one night I was looking out of the window at the Lehigh County Prison. The bright red ‘God Is Love’ sign on the top of the building shined in the night like a sign from God himself. I knew I needed to change my life and the way I was living. When I got out, I went to the Allentown Rescue Mission and enrolled in their life skills program.” After 8 weeks in the life skills program, Curtis was hired onto the Clean Team.
His work assignment has been on maintenance where he’s been able to give back while earning wages and using his skills. Michael Mauro, the Allentown Rescue Mission’s Clean Team & Facilities Manager says, “When looking at major projects to accomplish by 2019 year’s end, our 2nd floor individual dorm rooms needed real attention and Curtis was willing and ready to tackle the task! With his expertise and hard work, we were able to save the Allentown Rescue Mission thousands because we did not need to hire a general contractor. Each room, which includes new furnishings, costs $1,029, and we provided employment to one of our graduates.
It was a win-win.” What new projects now await Curtis? He’s currently painting the common areas of the 2nd floor dorms, and will eventually work his way to the Allentown Rescue Mission’s 3rd floor dorm and start the same process there! You can become a vital part of the daily life of a guest by adopting one of these rooms. Every year, our rooms are in need of a fresh coat of paint, new bedding, furniture and more! You can help keep these rooms up-to-date by sponsoring a room. Check out https://www.allentownrescuemission.org/sponsor-a-room for more information.