Chaka Meney holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology from Bluefield College and a Master's Degree in Social Work from George Mason University. In 2012 Chaka was an intern for our Services to Families Program where she gained valuable field experience in social services. Upon completion of her masters in 2014, Chaka joined the FACETS team as the Singles Case Manager/Homeless Healthcare Program Medical Outreach Worker. In December 2016, Chaka was promoted to the Singles Case Manager/Hypothermia Program Assistant. During her time at FACETS, Chaka has served as a Field Instructor for social work interns, provided case management and housing assistance to individuals who have been homeless or at-risk of homelessness, and assisted individuals in securing a medical home, finding employment, and gaining benefits, such as SNAP (Food Stamps).
Tell us about your new position as the Singles Case Manager/Hypothermia Program Assistant?
Prior to my promotion, I had two years of experience with the hypothermia program. In this new position, I'm gaining a new perspective of the hypothermia program by building upon prior knowledge as a case manager and being able to engage directly with the hypothermia points of contacts, facilitators, and volunteers. There is an often unnoticed behind-the-scenes operation taking place with many components coming together as a unit in order to ensure the hypothermia program operates smoothly and as best as it can.
What do you find most challenging about your position?
At times, it can be difficult to engage individuals who truly need assistance with housing, employment, medical and/or mental health benefits, but are not ready. Some individuals minimize the severity of their current needs and refrain from discussing them at first. Finding time to educate those we serve about the needs they currently have and the resources available to them can make a difference.
How have volunteers impacted the Hypothermia programs and the individuals who benefit from the program?
Volunteers are a necessity for the hypothermia program - without them, it would not be fully operational. Volunteers have impacted the hypothermia program in astounding ways, such as serving hot meals to the hypothermia guests, providing transportation to and from the hypothermia venues, and assisting with administrative tasks to support our staff and fellow volunteers.
Is there anything you wish everyone knew about FACETS
and the work we do?
The FACETS staff feels like a family, exemplifies teamwork, and strives for the same purpose of ending and preventing homelessness. We all work hard, and the hard work that is involved across all the programs may not be seen by some, but the outcomes may be noticed by all. Serving as a volunteer is one way to be a part of FACETS' family in order to witness the wonderful work that we do in the community.