Community Involvement Can Be Empowering For All Involved

By: Cindy Dubuque, Reaching Home Campaign Manager, Partnership for Strong Communities

There is a certain excitement that comes with notifying someone that they have been chosen to receive a supportive housing unit.  Picking up the phone, you realize that the opportunity you are about to give this individual or family is monumental, and perhaps the best news they have received in a very long time.  I have had the honor of being on a team of providers to welcome individuals and families into their new homes on a few occasions, and the outcome for many is life changing.

As a supportive housing case manager and a discharge planner for a skilled nursing facility, I have witnessed the transformation that happens for those entering safe and secure permanent supportive housing.  I have seen residents regain their health, manage their addiction, go back to school, obtain vocational training, and enter into relationships and create families.  For many, permanent supportive housing is an anchor in their lives that provides stability while navigating life’s challenges.  Case managers become trusted advisors and a bridge to the community and opportunities.

Working in the community with local agencies was an empowering experience for me, where change comes unit by unit, person by person. In my new role as the Campaign Manager for the Reaching Home Campaign, I get to work with the wonderful agencies across the state that are impacting lives every day while also focusing on statewide system change. Working with stakeholders to create policies and fine-tune systems enables us to develop a process that more efficiently and effectively provides people with the services they need. With all the moving parts working together, we can end homelessness.

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