A Conversation with Carrie Green
Continuing our “Conversations” with Salvation Army Austin Staff, we had a conversation with Carrie Green,
who is the Interim Shelter Director at The Rathgeber Center for Families.
Tell us about your professional background.
I have been in social services for almost 20 years. Ever since high school, I knew that I wanted to be in a field where I could help people. My career began after college at a domestic violence shelter. I worked for the state for several years, and then became a case manager before starting at The Salvation Army in February 2020.
What are the best parts of your job?
Working here is challenging for everyone, but we get to see the positive impact our efforts have on the families who come here. I also like the fact that we keep families together. We are the only shelter in Central Texas where the fathers do not have to stay somewhere else. That is crucial for children to have the presence and support of everyone who cares for them.
Tell us about a family that has inspired you.
We have a refugee family comprised of a single mother from Honduras who is seeking asylum here. She has two elementary school boys and was ostracized from her country for being a single mother and a lesbian. She is slowly learning English and finally feels safe. Things were very difficult for her in Honduras and now we are helping her transition to a better life in the U.S.
How does The Rathgeber Center help our clients?
Our ultimate goal is to help families find safe housing. There are steps they must take to accomplish this, and since each situation is different, we customize the plan for every family. The typical stay in shelter is three to five months, during which residents learn new skills and stabilize finances. We provide a safe place to sleep, daily meals, housing-focused case management, rapid rehousing, rental and utility assistance, therapy, childcare, educational support services, and more.
What inspired you to take this path professionally?
I was born in South Korea and adopted at three-years-old. I have been in this area since the early 80s. Everyone in my family is involved with a profession that helps others, so I had a lot of great role models. My mom is a counselor, my dad is a teacher and counselor, my sister is a counselor for the prison system and my brother is a paramedic for the City of Austin.