PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW – DAVID PEREZ

David Perez, Executive Director of Comfort House, an end-of-life establishment, has found his niche. It took years.

Initially he spent years as a teacher, then years first in outpatient rehabilitation administration and then in healthcare administration. Along the way he completed his graduate studies in guidance and counseling, working as a family counselor. Such background gave him the ability to beat 52 other applicants when applying for his current position. But Perez was sure he had other help.

“I think God led me where He wants me to be,” Perez said. “I wanted a place where I could pray openly and freely, and I get to do that every morning with our residents.”

Preparing for Comfort House’s largest annual fundraiser, Pretty in Pearls, scheduled for April 2, he exhibits a few more of his talents. Having a theater background and a hobby of wedding planning, he loves pulling out the stops for this style show, dinner, and silent and live auction, all with musical entertainment. This year the event will honor Princess Diana for her humanitarian work with AIDS patients, since Comfort House began in order to care for AIDS patients in 1989.

Comfort House has room for 10 patients at a time. With few staff and multiple volunteers to cook, clean, garden, and support the patients and families, it is supported through grants and donations.

Perez has goals of enlarging the existing building, adding a Comfort House for Kids. Taking his work to heart, he challenges everyone to take an hour out of their year and make a difference in someone’s life.

“I’ve held so many strangers’ hands. Knowing I’m able to provide comfort to them is very gratifying. The grants, the administration, the HR, preparing for fundraisers – that is all work,” he said.

“When I go back to the patients, it’s an act of love. It’s not work for me back there.”

Indeed, David Perez has found his niche.