Updated: Thursday, 30 Aug 2012, 7:19 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 30 Aug 2012, 7:19 PM EDT
We might not like to think about it, but the reality is, every day in Vigo County, someone is going to bed hungry, fighting addiction, or doesn't know where they'll sleep tonight.
However, our community is fighting back with help from people like Dottye Crippen.
As the executive director of the Bethany House, Dottye has helped many people get back on their feet.
And that's why she's this month's Make a Difference award winner.
On the corner of 4th and Locust in Terre Haute stands the Bethany House.
It's always a busy place, whether it's handing out clothes, serving meals or helping people find jobs.
But on this day, the dining area was full of people all waiting to surprise Dottye.
"You are this month's Frontier Communication, WTHI-TV Make a Difference award winner for all the fabulous things you do. We love you!"
For almost five years, she's run this shelter for women, children and families in need.
It's a job she almost didn't take because she said she just didn't know if she'd be able to relate to the many people who pass through these doors.
"It just seemed like a hard world and they seemed like tough cookies," said Crippen.
But Dottye is one tough cookie herself. Over the years, she's taken her experiences as a former business person and brought them here.
"I have a lot of business friends out there that agree to give my girls a chance. And will hire them on a temporary basis just to see how they do. A lot of them have done super."
Including people like Kathy and Doug Houk.
After finding themselves jobless and homeless last year, the couple came to Bethany House.
Now, almost a year later, both are employed and in an apartment.
"She has helped everybody who wants help, but they have to open up to her," said Kathy Houk.
It’s these stories that Dottye said has changed the way she views people.
"There are good qualities in every person. And if you just give them the opportunity to tell you just a little bit and to appreciate them for the good qualities they do have. You get real blessings. And you get real good feelings from that kind of work," said Crippen.
A line of work which people at the Bethany House said could use a few more "Dottye's".
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