"I Am Neighbor" - James Erving Emmendorfer

"I was running out of work so I chose to move up to Newaygo, to be with my girlfriend. Three days after Christmas, three and a half years ago she kicked me out of the house, because I didn't find a job and I didn't get my unemployment and the only place I could find to go at the time was Muskegon Rescue Mission, so that's what brought me to Muskegon.

Click on Jim's portrait for more "I Am Neighbor" stories.

Click on Jim's portrait for more "I Am Neighbor" stories.

I was living in my vehicle in a friend's house across the street and I found out this (Sacred Suds) was a good place I could do laundry and take showers and have coffee and a doughnut and lunch once in awhile. It’s very beneficial so it really helped me out.

I became a volunteer because it helped me and I wanna help other people and pass it along, and it's very beneficial, this place for helping homeless people that's living on the street or may not have water at their house…….I like to help people and pass it along.

I found out about all these other programs I can use to benefit me and other people. It’s been a struggle for three and a half years, but now I’m back on my feet and I just like to volunteer and as I said, pass it on.

I just started so I think I’m gonna be working the front desk once in awhile or whatever they need me to do: cleaning or sweeping, I don’t mind, landscaping, it don’t matter; whatever they want me to do.

Through Sacred Suds I heard about Community enCompass and Section 8 (affordable housing) that helps veterans like me and other people that have been homeless, now I live in Norton Shores in a community complex thanks to Sacred Suds and Community enCompass and section 8 housing. My income? I got disability. I applied for disability and won my disability case.

I’m doing really good. I like volunteering and passing it along so that other people can benefit too."

Jim volunteers at Sacred Suds and can be found getting his hands dirty in the garden or doing odd jobs around the building.