The Peoria Friendship House is a place of hope for people living in some of Peoria’s toughest neighborhoods. From meals to employment coaching, its mission is to put people on a path to prosperity.
That’s exactly what the organization did for one local mother. Beverly Hutcherson moved to Peoria 3 years ago. Life wasn’t easy and looking at her today it’s hard to believe where she came from.
Hutcherson was down on her luck.
“At first, I was scared to admit that I needed help, but then one day I just broke down.” Hutcherson explains.
It was then she found the Peoria Friendship House, which helped her with medical expenses, food, and provided personal items. In exchange for the assistance, the Friendship house required her to do 20 hours of community service a week. Like clockwork, Hutcherson came to work every day from 8:00AM until 5:00PM, putting in 40 hour weeks.
“They needed the help, they was helping me so I was helping back. That was my way of giving back to them, telling them ‘thank you, I appreciate everything y’all did for me.” Hutcherson says.
Eventually, the mother of nine was working towards getting her GED and had a full time job offer from the place that helped her get back on her feet.
“He said, ‘Well, you’re hired’. I cried,” Hutcherson says. “They showed me that there’s people out there that still care. There’s people out there that still care because at one point in time I was just at an angle where nobody was there for me.”
Hutcherson now runs ‘The Boutique on Madison’.
“My life looks better, a whole lot better. I’m able to take the kids different places, I’m able to now pay my own way instead of depending on other people to help me pay my way. I can give something back that was gave to me.” Hutcherson says.
Just a few weeks ago, the Friendship house said ‘thank you’ to Hutcherson, by giving her a car that was donated to them.
“I was at a point, I was really lost, I was really lost and they helped me get back up and if I could help somebody like they helped me, that’s what I want to do.” Hutcherson says.
You can help the Friendship House with its ‘Over the Edge‘ fundraiser on June 9th. People who raise a minimum $1,000 have the opportunity to rappel off the side of the Chase Bank Building in downtown Peoria.