The Joy of Partnering with My Clients

submitted anonymously by AM Coordinated Entry Case Manager

As a Coordinated Entry Case Manager at Associated Ministries, there are many times I am filled with joy over the sense that what I’m doing in partnership with my clients is really working. It happens when a family, or a resident at the shelter, feels capable of stretching themselves and they start working a bit harder on their housing solution because they feel someone has their back.

My mission is to follow the old adage: You can give a person a fish and you will have fed them for a day, but teach a person to fish and you will have fed them (and their family) for life.

I love it when someone says to me, “I did it! I am in the program you suggested!” or, “I got the job!” or best of all, “I found someone to rent to me, and this is how I did it!” As they tell me about the tremendous efforts they undertook to achieve success, it’s great to see how proud they are of themselves.

I always try to inspire my clients, because I know that if someone feels their housing action plan is right for them and is do-able – and someone else thinks so too – then they are more likely to work at it and to succeed. I am there to smooth out any rough edges, suggest helpful methods, and to believe in them… to get excited about what THEY are excited about!

I enjoy such moments whenever they happen; I feel good while I am with my clients and feel so proud of them. But then I try to reflect on what may have been the reasons they were willing to “take it up a notch” so the next time I might try that method again. When a client is not successful at finding housing, I walk that path with them too; how should the strategy be different in round two? When my clients experience failures I work hard not to take it home with me, for my own self-care.

My bottom line message is that there is no “be all and end all” method for a family’s success in finding permanent housing. I give them all I have to offer relevant to their current situation, but ultimately they must take it up and run with it. And it’s so rewarding when they do!

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