Help from a Colleague
Help from a Colleague
Help from a Colleague

While Joy is getting up to speed as a Case Manager, the shelter residents are feeling the vacuum left from her promotion.

An afternoon when Butler takes an approved extended lunch, Joy walks over to Mr. Pettus’ cubicle to ask about the steps for generating the 7-day OITS:

Hey Pettus, will you help me out?  I can’t get to the calendar to schedule the next meeting.  What’s missing in my notes?

Duggins read what you have; then I can tell you what’s missing.

Joy reads her notes to Pettus who tells her the missing steps.  She remembers Butler saying them but his pace was too fast for her to listen and write.  Pettus gives Joy several minutes of attention so that her notes to do one-day, three-day, and seven-day ILPs are complete.

What can I say but thank you very much for filling in the blanks.  I do remember Butler explaining all this.  I guess your pace is what I need to make things click.

Duggins, it’s alright.  We’re here to help each other help these clients.  Do you notice all of my quotations and comics pinned around this cubby hole?  I want it to be wherever a client turns his head in here, he’s being called to do better for himself.

Pettus is a handsome, very tall, good-natured man.  He like the other Case Managers–Nicholson, Butler, Perez, and Edo–is bald.  Joy wonders does Ms. J have an attraction to bald heads.

One morning when it is clear to the clients that Joy no longer does workshops in the rec area, a client with brown, curly, collar-length hair comes to the door looking for Joy.

Ms. Duggins, so it’s true you’re a Case Manager?

Yes, I am.  It happened the top of July.

Since you’ve moved up, we don’t get new job notices on the wall.

That’s too bad.  The job notices ought to be refreshed.

Ms. Duggins, will you be my Case Manager?  I’d do anything you say.

Mr. Riebold, that’s kind of you say.  I don’t get to choose but I’ll soon get a client roster.

To top the morning exchange, in the afternoon, Big Cheez walks into the office to notify them that he’s negotiating with DHS to get 25% raises for the social service staff.  Joy is initially happy to hear it but remembers her goal is securing a job at a youth development agency.

If I can leave here with a promotion and raise, someone’s mojo is surely working, is Joy’s thought.

Getting Your Own Keys chronicles the professional odyssey of Joy Duggins, a resourceful and encouraging service provider in a Central Brooklyn men’s homeless shelter.  It gives a peek into NYC homeless services procedures and much workplace drama.  http://gettingyourownkeys.blogspot.com/

What’s the goal of providing temporary emergency shelter?  Getting Your Own Keys


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of BK Reader.

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Akosua Albritton

Akosua is a communicator who loves to inform, engage, and enable her fellow New Yorkers. You may find her in a classroom, in an auditorium, or on a city street teaching the social sciences. Her favorite...

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