My Time Volunteering at NEOCH

By Duncan Peters

When I first learned about NEOCH I was uninterested in coming here. I did not want to do my Project Real here at all. The reason for this was because I have a tendency to be a bit lazy and I do not like doing work. Especially writing papers or typing articles. When I arrived here, I tried to have a positive outlook on the situation. I knew I would be stuck in this for about a week so I had to make the most of my days here.

The first day was a little rough for me. I wasn’t expecting the work load that I was given, but I did not complain. I noticed that basically all day, I was sitting at a computer. Knowing me, I’m a hands-on kind of guy, and I usually prefer to go out and do things. Sitting at a desk all day was not my “cup of tea”.

As time went on, I began enjoying myself here at NEOCH. The people are incredible and it is a family environment. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and they taught me so much in this one week. Everyone is always laughing and joking and they make any and everyone feel comfortable. I became accustomed to the computer work and it doesn’t bother me anymore. This is a good thing for me since ill be writing a lot of papers in college. I learned the system here rather quickly, and it’s not as bad as I assumed it would be.

NEOCH changed my perspective on life as well. They showed me how the real world is and how cruel people truly can be. It’s not easy trying to do things on your own in this world. NEOCH showed me how the homeless people were treated and how they lived on a daily basis. It is a terrible and frightening sight to see. These people are denied their rights. They are not treated like every other citizen. It angers me to know that people will beat these homeless people and kill them just because they are on the streets and have no where to go.

What I loved most about being here at NEOCH, was going to the meetings. I felt so important being there and being involved. Even though I had nothing to say, I had some background information from the paper work I had to create. When I went to City Hall and also to the Bar Association, I was amazed and the information that I received was unbelievable. I’m the type of person that loves to learn and that is what kept me motivated throughout this entire process. I’m glad that I came to this place, and I hope that one day I will return. This has been one extraordinary experience.

Editor's Note: Duncan is a senior at Benedictine High School and did a week at NEOCH assisting and volunteering.  He helped with our advocacy, street newspaper, and public policy work.  We wish him well as he prepares for college at John Carroll.