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Review for Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer at the Delonis Center for about 5 years now and have worked at the Service Center desk, the Medical Clinic, and the Front Desk, as well as serving on a Task Force to increase the number of churches to participate in our Rotating Shelter. I am currently taking on various tasks to help the Medical Case Managers and staff provide the best medical care possible for our clients. I absolutely love my time at the Center. I have always felt comfortable there, and staff has always taught me what I needed to know and I have been trusted to act as independently as possible, which makes the work there especially satisfying.
Working in a shelter is complicated business for case managers who have to weave a path through mental and physical health issues, addiction, abuse, and lots of bureaucratic red tape. As volunteers, we provide support to the staff and clients, whether it be completing a specific task or, more often than not, just being there to listen and care.
The clients at the shelter come from many backgrounds and experiences and needs. However, I have always found that people are just people...we all have the same basic needs...possibly the most important and simplest needs are to be RESPECTED and to be TREATED WITH DIGNITY. As volunteers, I feel that is OUR most important job.

I became involved at the Delonis Center through our church, First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor. For many years we have participated in the Rotating Shelter program that is run by the Shelter. I signed up to stay up one night in December at the church to chaperone and after that night I knew I had to volunteer at the shelter. I was hooked. The clients were polite, appreciative individuals who were great to talk with and share life stories and insights. After that night, I knew I wanted to serve this population in a more extensive manner and that is how I became involved at this shelter.

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Role:  Volunteer