The Face at the Front Desk

Every day, when clients and guests come in to Associated Ministries (AM), our receptionist, Nina, welcomes them. This month we want to thank Nina for all the work she does for AM and the help she provides to all who come through our door. In her words, we introduce you to Nina.

Where are you from/what is your background? I was born and raised right here in Tacoma, Washington. I graduated from Clover Park Technical College in August of 2016 with my AAT in Human Services. I began temping at Associated Ministries in September 2016 and they hired me permanently in December of 2016.

How did you first come to work with AM? I heard about Associated Ministries (AM) early in life, but I did not gain an understanding about their work and mission in the community until I went to college. When I volunteered at Project Homeless Connect, I was able to speak with a couple housing specialists about AM’s role in the community. This is when I decided that I wanted to work for AM. My passion for helping our community aligned with AM’s role and mission. A week after I graduated, I was contacted by a temp agency to take a job at AM. After my 3 months temp job was over, AM hired me permanently. Now I am fortunate to work what I consider my dream job, and I am lucky enough that my supervisor has become one of my biggest mentors in life.

Describe what your typical workday is like. I would like to start out with the fact that I LOVE my job! I am the Receptionist here at Associated Ministries. I also help organize and update most of our resources. I assist clients with appointments in getting their intake paperwork handled. I take care of all incoming traffic with their questions, give needed resources, appointment setting for our Community Resource Center, make sure client paperwork gets to appropriate housing specialists when it’s dropped off, and follow up with clients when they call or email with questions regarding services. I serve on the AM Safety Committee, and I am always looking ahead in gaining new resources and keeping current resources updated for our clients and community members.

What gives you the most joy in your job? My biggest joy is when I get to watch people gain their housing and/or overcome barriers that has kept them from being able to achieve their goals. The pure joy that washes over them and seems to alleviate their worries, even if it is temporary. To be a part of something that makes such a tremendous effect on people’s lives, that is the joy in my job. I watch all of the employees here at AM go above and beyond to help our clients and community gain what they need to be successful in life. Also, they reach out into the community to strengthen bonds with other organizations and faith communities to be able to come together and make changes that benefits those we serve.

What else would you like to share? My passion is resources and making connections within the community. I am always looking to gain more resources and make connections that will benefit those that are in need. Here at AM, we are the front door to most of the housing programs in Pierce County. With clients that are experiencing homelessness, they are also experiencing a loss of amenities that goes along with the loss of home. Food to eat, water to drink and bathe in, clean clothes, even a simple toothbrush can make a difference to some people. I try to make that happen. I try to keep basic toiletries and a few clothing items handy that people can have when in need. Helping assist people with their needs; that will forever be my passion.

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