Salvation Army Case Managers – Working To Help Families Get Back on their Feet
We frequently talk about how The Salvation Army provides emergency shelter and meals for individuals and families who come to us, but this is just the beginning of how we support our clients. When they walk through the doors of our emergency shelters. our case managers come into the picture – helping our clients while they’re in the shelter to get through the crisis that they are experiencing and to move toward becoming self-sufficient. The ultimate goal is that they can leave the shelter and move into safe housing and improved employment.
Meet Anisha Pyakuryal – a long term case manager at our Austin Shelter for Women and Children. Her job is to meet with the client while they are still in shelter and help them transition once they are ready to leave. Her focus is primarily on helping a client to move toward safe housing and employment. She meets with them on a weekly or monthly basis, walking them through the process of making sure that they make the progress they need to become financially stable. While they are living in the shelter, she meets with them weekly to see if they are on top of their goals, providing resources for finding an apartment, paying off debts, and searching for a job if they are unemployed.
“The main focus (with clients) is definitely housing, but we know that housing and employment go hand in hand because you can’t house someone that does not have income coming in, and the (housing) market here is so competitive. I do try to help my clients with resume building if they need it, access to a computer to look up jobs, or help with their job searches. One of the clients I’ve worked with the longest now has used all of her housing vouchers, and throughout that whole time, she maintained her job, which really helped in building her finances. Now, as of four months ago, she re-signed the lease at her apartment and is now paying full rent, and she is not struggling financially. She has all of her bills covered, and she is able to save money that is left over, too. She is a great success story. That is honestly, why I work here.”
Once the client leaves the shelter, Anisha will continue to meet with them monthly to help them stay on track. This support, which can continue for up to 24 months, is vital part of helping these women continue to reach their goals in the midst of the challenges that inevitably come.
“All of the programs that The Salvation Army offers are so catered to the clients that we have. It’s meant to help them become successful in the outside world. For the client to see their case manager for at least once a month for two years – this enables them to develop that trust. It’s very unique. I grew up to love people. Every day here is a new day. It’s a very rewarding job. There are good days and bad days but when I leave every day, I know that I did my best and I know that I have helped at least one family.”
The need is great and growing as more and more families come to us every day when they have no where else to turn. If you’d like to provide a hand up to individuals and families in need, please donate today.