Letter writer: Volunteers needed at AHOPE day center

Graphic by Lori Deaton

My name is Josiah Johnston. I am an applied anthropologist, writer, teacher and father. At the request of the director of AHOPE day center in Asheville, I am conducting a participatory action research project to evaluate the services offered at AHOPE as they are perceived by the homeless clients who use them.

The research is seeking ways to improve those services, spread information about them more effectively and ultimately allow the suggestions of the indigent clients to be heard and acted on in a systematic way.

This research process will involve document analysis, interviews, surveys and network analysis, followed by data analysis and the production of results. Then the co-implementation of suggestions with clients and AHOPE staff will take place.

The last part, involving projects such a painting walls and fixing broken furniture, presents an opportunity for members of the wider Asheville community to become involved in serving those in need. In the spirit of community involvement at all levels which underlines participatory action research, I am putting out the call for volunteers to help with some of these tasks.

Anyone interested can contact me at josiahramsay@gmail.com.

— Josiah Johnston
Mills River

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