Just because something is cliché does not mean it’s false.
Stephanie, a former AmeriCorps Homelessness Housing Coordinator, has a smile that lights up a room. It’s no wonder her clients loved working with her.
Stephanie joined Catholic Social Services’ team in October 2017, serving out her year in AmeriCorps with us. Although she’s a Cordon Bleu trained chef, she sought out this job. She wanted work that better aligned with her values. Stephanie came on board here, eager to help.
Her work required resilience. She and her co-worker, Yvonne, sought out people with “high acuity” – a term which indicates their extreme vulnerability. In fact, Stephanie met her first client in a home that was falling apart. She helped house that woman in less than a month.
If Stephanie’s optimism ever wavered, she doesn’t show it.
“You start to realize how similar we are.” She paused, resting her fists under her chin, her elbows on her desk, and looking straight ahead. “We want the same things – to be loved and valued. That’s universal.”
In a year, Stephanie served more than 100 clients and housed 7 people. She realizes she made a big difference in those people’s lives.
“It’s taught me a lot about human suffering and how compassion can restore a lot,” she said.
However, she insists they made as big a difference in her life.
“They taught me how to be compassionate with myself too.”
Now that Stephanie’s service with AmeriCorps and Catholic Social Services has finished, she has moved on to be the Transition Coordinator for The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness. There’s no question if Stephanie will keep fighting hard for her clients there.
“We don’t give up on them. How valuable,” she said. “Don’t we all need that?”
You can help support the work people like Stephanie do. Donate today and help us end homelessness in Anchorage, one person at a time.