Housing specialist helps needy reach their goals

February 23, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - When Eric Rollins isn't busy as a youth pastor in Ranson, W.Va., the 21-year-old is helping adults get their lives back on track.

In December, Rollins started working as a supportive housing specialist at Washington County Community Action Council Inc. in Hagerstown. Part of his duties include helping the needy find permanent housing and employment.

Each of his clients is given a worksheet that, among other things, sets a timeline to reach specific goals.

"Some come from unstable backgrounds and need help getting back on their feet," he said. "They just need someone to give them extra encouragement. ... I definitely feel I'm here to give my help."

A lifelong resident of Washington County, Rollins said he graduated from North Hagerstown High School in 2004. He is studying at the Lamplighters School of Theology in Ranson to earn a bachelor's degree in biblical studies, which he hopes to get in May.


Rollins said he wants to continue his education and earn a master's degree in educational leadership to become an administrator in education.

Rollins relies heavily on his faith in God and teaches Sunday school at Kingdom Life Cathedral in Ranson.

"I was born and raised in church my entire life," he said. "I put the Lord first in everything in all areas of life. Without Him, I wouldn't be here now."

Rollins said he became interested in helping people at an early age.

"It makes me feel good," Rollins said. "I guess it's in my blood. My grandmother (helped people) as well."

One of the most important things that Rollins teaches the children to whom he ministers is to stay away from alcohol, drugs and other vices, he said.

Rollins said that as a community service project, his youth group plans to clean and serve food at a yet-to-be-named rescue mission in West Virginia, probably in Martinsburg or Charles Town.

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