Jan, who retired from a career in vocational rehabilitation counseling, began volunteering with Inter-Faith in 2015 and has been an integral part of our team ever since. She manages our aftercare program, connecting with our graduate families to help them keep on track.
She’s a sounding board for her clients and provides them with concrete assistance in many ways—referring them to diaper services, food banks and other resources; negotiating with landlords and utility companies to avoid evictions and shutoffs; and helping them access help with essentials like clothing, furniture, and school supplies.
She’s impressed with their strength. “I’m amazed at how resilient they seem to be,” she says. And their trust and successes remind Jan that what she’s doing really makes a difference.
It’s not surprising that the COVID crisis has hit our graduates too, and Jan has been there for them. As just one example, she has helped clients access Comcast’s affordable Internet Essentials program, to facilitate distance learning and virtual connections with family and friends during the shutdown. “As most of them are still working, or have been able to get unemployment benefits, they are still triumphing over homelessness,” she says.
Jan’s in it for the long haul as a volunteer at Inter-Faith, though she’s mostly working remotely now, continuing to help fulfill its “sensitive, inspiring” philosophy.
“I guess I feel that Inter-Faith is kind of a family,” she says.