Residents of the 2Life senior community in Brighton, Massachusetts, have a new lease of life, thanks to James Humphries.
Humphries, 25, is a front desk ambassador in the affordable housing community. Last year, he noticed that many seniors were wearing worn-out shoes, and in some cases several sizes too big. Humphries feared they would trip and fall, and he was particularly concerned about a partially blind resident.
“He’s Haitian and only speaks Haitian Creole, so it was a months-long journey to gain his confidence enough to remove his shoe to check the shoe size,” Humphries said. The week in an email. “Eventually, with her confidence gained and the help of a colleague who also speaks Creole, we were able to discover her true size. shoe size .”
Humphries brought the shoes to work and gave them to the resident. When one of her colleagues heard what he had done, she slipped him the number to a contact she had at New Balance. The person was no longer with the company, but “the people there were so nice and there was a domino effect of referrals until I fell into good hands,” Humphries said. “They generously offered to donate 20 pairs of shoes, and with the help of 2Life Resident Services Coordinators, we were able to fulfill the order with the residents we felt needed them the most.”
When they received their surprise shoes, residents were “baffled” and “super happy,” Humphries said. Working at 2Life and with colleagues who “foster such a deep sense of community” has been a rewarding experience for Humphries, who aims to help others wherever he goes. “I want to see the community around me thrive; not having to worry about basic necessities like shoes, food, water and shelter can give people a better quality of life,” said he said, adding that “helping others is the most rewarding thing”. and rewarding act of living – we’ve all been to a place where we need someone to reach out and say, “I got you.” I want to be that person for others as much as possible.”
Humphries is passionate about fashion and style and started designing his clothing line, Le Ann Dotti, in 2018. He doesn’t plan to stop there though; Humphries is also inspired by 2Life’s mission and hopes to one day open her own community center that is a “safe haven” for people who are homeless, in transitional housing or who need help accessing resources and professional help, where they can take showers, eat a hot meal, watch a movie and get career advice. “This model not only gives people a safe place to exist, but a place where they can play an active role in shaping their own lives with autonomy, dignity and support, while regaining a sense of purpose by strengthening the self-esteem and hard skills through appropriate assistance and giving back to their community,” Humphries said.