A Typical Day at the Brisben Center
Recently, I was asked to be part of an interview along with TBC’s other case manager, Shelly Shipman. The interview was being conducted by a college student who was pursuing her degree in Human Services. The student had picked our homeless shelter as the agency she wished to research for her class assignment.
Many of the questions were the kind that I would have expected. How many clients did we serve? What rules were in place at the shelter to promote safety as well as progress in the client’s Service Plan? What were our funding sources? What was the shelter’s structure regarding employees and the types of jobs they perform? These questions were expected and most were easily answered.
However, one question, while it may seem simple, required a good bit more thought on my part. What was a typical day like at The Thurman Brisben Center? The short answer to that question is that there are no typical days at our center. Certainly, I check emails, meet with clients, coordinate services with our front desk, and attend both staff meetings as well as meetings with outside agencies.
The more in- depth answer to that question is that each day at the center is as diverse as the people we serve. I’m very proud to be part of an agency that strives to meet each person’s needs and opens its doors to all—regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender orientation.
I believe there is a segment of our society that still sees a “typical” homeless person. You know: the one living under a bridge or panhandling. The truth is that no homeless person is “typical.” Each individual or family comes with their own story and thus their own needs. It’s Case Management’s job to assess those needs and help people navigate the best way toward permanent and stable housing. I consider it a privilege to work at The Thurman Brisben Center and walk alongside our clients on their own individual life journeys.
By Rhonda Rhodes, Brisben Center Case Manager