Dywoine Massey knows what it is like to need help.
When he became a father at a young age, it could have derailed his future. Instead, he had a trusted mentor to guide him and a family who was able to give him extra support to stay on track. With their help and his hard work, he was able to finish school, earn a college degree, and balance raising a child with raising himself.
“I know I am lucky. So many people need that kind of help and don’t have family and friends who are able to give it,” he says. “I can relate to the situations moms and dads are in when they come here. That could have been me.”
That’s what motivates him to keep coming back every day to his role coaching and counseling individuals and families beyond their immediate crisis toward economic mobility.
“I know my life would be different without the people who helped me through,” says Dywoine. “If we can offer just a little help to people in our community who don’t have anyone else, it helps us all.”
He recalls a frustrated single mother he served. Despite working multiple jobs, missing time with her children, and trying so hard, she needed help to avoid eviction. Over the course of their weekly meetings, together they made a plan. When she was able to replace the multiple jobs with one job that allowed her to spend time with her children again and pay the bills, they both celebrated.
“It’s a great feeling to see people able to change things with your help,” he says. “Sometimes it only takes a few small things, so people can go farther… so they can become more self-sufficient. It makes you proud of them and it motivates you to keep doing what you do.”
In six years at Crisis Assistance Ministry, Dywoine has earned the respect of his peers. In nominating him for Employee of the Year, fellow staff cited his genuine concern for those he serves, his willingness to take on new challenges, and his measured demeanor in every situation.
The husband and father of two is an avid family man who enjoys photography, cars, and spending time in the great outdoors. Family comes first, he says. But, after that, helping others create better opportunities for themselves keeps him moving forward too.