Second Chances

Published in Dome - September 2015

Anthony Dominick arrives at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center at 10:30 p.m. for a shift that ends at 8 the following morning. He cleans floors, takes out trash, hangs privacy curtains for patients. He is punctual and meticulous, traits he learned as a boiler technician in the U.S. Navy but neglected for decades.

“Drinking has always been a problem for me,” says Dominick, 47, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression. He was unemployed and living in a two-bedroom house with eight other people on May 15, 2013, the day he got sober.   

DePaul Industries, a staffing agency for people with disabilities, found Dominick temporary work at Hopkins Bayview, and he became permanent earlier this year. He’s among nine workers, most of them veterans, placed at Johns Hopkins through a partnership formed in 2014 between DePaul and in-house staffing service Intrastaff. At least three, including Dominick, are now full-time employees, with benefits that include overtime and paid days off.

With his new financial security, Dominick moved to a one-bedroom apartment near Hopkins Bayview. “It’s the nicest place I’ve ever lived,” he says.