A Day in the Life of Housing Case Manager Nayia Green
At House of Ruth, we work with a very specific population: our clients are HIV-positive and battle homelessness. As a Housing Case Manager, I work with about 24 clients who utilize House of Ruth’s Long-Term Housing Program. Here are some of the things I do each day:
Supporting My Clients
My clients know they can contact me for help with almost anything! (Learn more about our wraparound services by clicking here.) I start each day by checking my messages. I have a close relationship with my clients and I’m always there for them. If they need something when I’m not “in the office,” I always respond as soon as possible.
Weekly check-ins are required for almost all of my clients. This is when we review treatment plans and goals. Some of the things that I help clients with? Applying for SNAP benefits, finding employment, working with them to pay off outstanding bills, and much more.
I collaborate with almost everyone on the House of Ruth staff to get my clients what they need.
For example: if I need approval for any financial assistance (e.g., rental assistance, assistance with an LG&E bill, or ordering a new state ID) I work with our Housing Program Manager Alisa Miller.
If a client needs TARC tickets, I work with our Intake Coordinator and Receptionist Lara Hurt.
If I’m having any crises with a client (like substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, or another mental health crisis) I work with our Director of Clinical Services, Deloris Johnson, MSSW, LCSW.
House of Ruth’s staff is a diverse group of people with unique skills, but we’re all working towards the same goal: a better life for our clients.
I also spend a lot of time collaborating with community partners outside of House of Ruth.
For example, many of our clients are also patients of the UofL 550 Clinic through the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Care Coordinator Program. Any client who is a patient there is assigned a medical case manager, so I check in regularly to make sure that our shared clients are doing well.
I also work closely with many property managers in our community to ensure that our clients have safe and welcoming places to live.
At House of Ruth, we are more than just a social service agency, and there are many layers to our work. Sometimes, being a case manager can mean being the only resource for someone who doesn’t have anyone else.
Recently I lost a long-time client and was his only emergency contact. When he transitioned to hospice care, I went to say goodbye. It was important to me because he had no friends or family to visit him. Being the person in someone’s life who grieves their passing is a huge responsibility, and I don’t take it lightly.
The difficult parts of being a case manager make the victories even sweeter! When clients graduate from our housing program, they become eligible for the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Program. My client Joshua has been working with me for two years and is finally graduating.
Joshua battled substance abuse, homelessness, HIV, and kidney failure. Throughout our time working together, we’ve set many goals, and he’s achieved them all. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that he doesn’t need me anymore.
Now that Joshua is graduating to Section 8, his goal is to get a house with a yard for himself and his dog. I’ll work with him to secure his Section 8 voucher, then we’ll look for his dream house.
Watching people transition to Section 8 is amazing because it shows just how far they’ve come. These are the stories that make my job “worth it.” Anytime a client tells me that I’ve helped them — even in the smallest way — I can’t imagine a more rewarding career.
You can learn more about our mission and services by visiting us online at HouseofRuth.net, and by following us on social media: Instagram: @houseofruthlou Facebook: @HouseOfRuthLouisville
Pictured above are Alexis Scott, Glade House Clinician and Larry Clark, Glade House Peer Support Specialist.