Arundel House Of Hope Doughy Dog Transforms Lives
By Sharon Mager
Whats better than an all-American hot dog with ketchup, mustard and onions on a hot summer day? How about knowing the funds raised are used to transform lives? Thats what happens at the Doughy Dog, a large cheerful looking fire-engine red concession vehicle with a big hot dog painted on the side.
Every day, a team of workers, all of them at one time homeless, run the business, serving up breakfasts of bacon, egg and cheese muffins, toast sticks and hash browns. For lunch theres an assortment of all-beef hot dogs including the Glen Burnie Dog with chili, cheese, onions and yellow mustard or the Dixie Dog with cole slaw, Dijon mustard and a pickle. Sides include cole slaw and potato chips, onion rings, Old Bay French fries or chili/cheese fries.
The Doughy Dog is sponsored by the Arundel House of Hope, an organization in Glen Burnie that provides housing, training and resources for the local homeless community. AHOH also oversees the annual winter relief program, partnering with local churches to provide shelter for the homeless in the cold weather months.
Working at Doughy Dog provides more than an income. Clients are taught how to get a job and the elements of a good work ethic, such as arriving on time and proper presentation in a workplace, dressing for success and time management. Most of the Doughy Dog staff is housed in an Arundel House of Hope facility.
This gives them something positive to put on their resume and its a good reference to get back into the work force, Brianne Adams, Arundel House of Hope case manager said.
Its been a great success. Weve had people go back to nursing school and graduate from community college. We have one gentleman who is getting his license in refrigeration and air conditioning, Adams said.
The Arundel House of Hope began the Doughy Dog project in 2007 with the help of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, Severna Park; Harundale Presbyterian Church, Glen Burnie; First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis; The Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County.
Theyre really training people from the standpoint of customer service, Tom Lerario, Woods Memorial Church executive director, said. And, I like the menu.
Lerarios favorite Doughy Dog is the Atlantic City with sauerkraut. Im a traditionalist, he chuckled.
What I really love about the program is that it allows people to re-enter the world of employment with this huge safety net, Phil Bailey said. Bailey is Arundel House of Hopes Program Director for Winter Relief and The Resource and Day Center and he coordinates the Doughy Dog program. He and his wife Glenda live in Boulevard Park in Pasadena.
People are encouraged and taught not just about how to get a job, but how to keep a job. Theyre taught to be successful and they have people rooting them on, Bailey said.
Work at the Doughy Dog is seasonal. Employees begin with a class in February and they work through November.
During that period their confidence and self-esteem comes back and they start to feel good about themselves because theyre successful. Hopefully, theyre then ready to get a permanent job, Bailey said.
The Doughy Dog calls 710 Aquahart Road in Glen Burnie its home, but the truck makes its rounds throughout the county and beyond. Recently, the big red concession stand travelled to Artscape, providing tasty dogs for all the artsy visitors in Baltimore.
Locally, the facility provides services at various events such as church functions, a recent yard sale at Anne Arundel Community College and at last years Oktoberfest in Annapolis.
For more information see http://www.doughy-dog.com or check out their Facebook page.