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Local hero: Luis Nixon, City With Dwelling

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Luis Nixon

Luis Nixon discovered that helping the homeless was his calling at age 18, when he began volunteering in the Spanish Harlem area of New York.

“Hospice care and service to the homeless community was my choice in the order at The Franciscans,” he shares.

His time volunteering in New York has now been matched by his years of service in Winston-Salem, where he moved 15 years ago.

“I came to Winston-Salem to visit a friend, and within two weeks, I decided to move here. I’ve been here ever since.”

Nixon, a regular volunteer at City With Dwelling, has a vital role in helping the vulnerable homeless community in our city.

Nixon says he finds solace in the fact that he is useful. “It’s very fulfilling walking side by side with God's people, those whom society seems to scorn and forget.”

Most of his time working at City With Dwellings is spent in charge of the Mail Room and Hospitality areas. As part of that responsibility, he sorts mail and hands it out to our homeless and newly housed community.

He often provides rides for homeless community members to the Samaritan soup kitchen, from overflow shelters back to downtown, and even to appointments.

While this service is important year-round, it’s crucial during the winter.

“This is a blessing for many in the winter months. It gets them out of the harsh elements of winter and allows them to have a hot meal and warm bed for night,” he says.

In addition to his volunteer work at City With Dwellings, he also helps stock the food pantry twice a week at Project Wellness Alliance and grow food in the gardens of Catholic Charities.

Nixon’s efforts to aid our homeless community led to him receiving the 2022 Forsyth County Governor's Volunteer Service Award.

“My first thought was ‘There must be someone better than me for this honor.’ I even didn't want to attend ceremony. But a good friend reflected my work over the years and said ‘Yes, it's you. It's your time.’”

When not committing his time to these many important organizations, he enjoys eating at Sampan Chinese Restaurant or catching the occasional movie with his adopted son, Chris. He understands the importance of self-care.

“If we don't take time for ourselves to refresh and rejuvenate, then we become weak and useless.”

Nixon says his daily prayer is asking the Lord what he must do to make the world a better place.

He says we all need to have the humility to come out of our comfort zones and truly learn to love the unlovable to make this happen.

“I find that yes, we can do all we can to make our world a better place.”

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