July 16, 2009
When I first walked into the Lawrence Community Shelter (LCS), I saw the many faces of homelessness and immediately felt helpless and hopeless. What could I do to really help? There were so many people that needed more than I could ever give. I soon realized that many times, the best thing that I could offer was my compassion and caring while simply chatting with a few of the guests. Throughout my conversations with the LCS guests, I quickly learned that the case managers are the people that can make things happen. Conversations frequently included things like, "Sally helped me get into a rehab program" or "Arnell helped me get a job" or "Dianne helped put me in touch with [an outside social service agency]" The LCS case managers are amazing at taking care of the helping people fill out applications for housing, jobs, and benefits; they could coordinate help from outside agencies for things like legal aid, medical health, mental health, and addiction issues; and they could work with each guest to build a path to a positive future for people experiencing homelessness. Those experiences ultimately led me to join the Board of Directors and I've spent more than 7 years advocating for local, community-based solutions to the issue of homelessness.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
amazing, compassionate, experienced, caring, dedicated, understanding, and knowledgeable.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
MY ROLE:Board Member & Advocate for homeless, developed/maintain www.lawrenceshelter.org website.