Meet The Doe Fund: Pt. 4
A series on the guys who keep the neighborhood beautiful
February 21, 2018
Meet Mr. Dixon, one of our The Doe Fund (TDF) supervisors who heads the team that cleans the Fulton Mall. Although he grew up in Corona, Queens, he made his way to Downtown Brooklyn for high school, where he graduated from George Westinghouse High School. Little did he know that he would return to the same area years later as a trainee for TDF.
Mr. Dixon came across the TDF almost accidentally. He had heard of the program while in prison, but had no intentions of joining. Upon his release, his correction officer failed to take the necessary steps to secure a bed for him in the local men’s shelter. Trying his luck at getting a bed on his own, he was at first turned away from Bellevue Men’s Shelter, but finally got a bed at the Bedford-Atlantic Armory Men’s Shelter in Crown Heights. While there, a recruiter for The Doe Fund announced over the PA system that anyone interested in signing up for the “Ready, Willing, and Able” program should come meet with him. Mr. Dixon fit the criteria, and knew that if he could complete a 7-year prison term, he could commit to this program for 9-12 months. In that time, he took advantage of the many programs The Doe Fund offers - receiving his drivers license, his boiler operator’s license, and his OSHA license. As the end of his training approached, he received a letter from TDF offering him employment with the program, and he never looked back.
Like Mr. Wiggins and Mr. Flowers, Mr. Dixon uses his personal story to inspire his trainees. He admits that he made some wrong choices, but worked hard when given a second chance. “We all at some point in time take a wrong turn, and you decide to get it together, and it’s a struggle. But here is what I will tell anyone who will listen: we know what it is to go left, or do wrong. It’s easy. It’s so easy. The struggle is going straight, and once you get a hold of that, go into battle, and have a strong support team… you’re gonna win and come out on top.” Mr. Dixon encourages his trainees to cooperate despite various backgrounds and to let go of their past misfortunes. He describes them as his own small family within the bigger family of The Doe Fund.
When Mr. Dixon returned to Downtown Brooklyn for the first time since high school, he was amazed at the immense change the neighborhood had undergone. He loves being able to revisit George Westinghouse, which is housed in one of the many landmarked buildings in the neighborhood. He is excited to be a part of its growth. “It’s beautiful. All the boroughs are cities, but give it another 10-15 years and Manhattan ain’t got nothing on Downtown Brooklyn!”
Thank you for all you do for the neighborhood and your trainees Mr. Dixon!
This profile is the third and last in our series on The Doe Fund. To find out more about the organization, check out Pt. 1 here.