My name is Antonia Martinez and for the past ten months, I have been the housing case manager for the Families Heading Home program. I have been in the social work field for the past eight years and have worked with various populations of individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
My current role at Heading Home as the housing case manager allows me to guide and support families through our Tenant based rental assistance and Rental assistance housing programs. Most case managers can say that there is not a typical day for a case manager, that’s true for me. The work that I take on presents daily challenges depending on the needs of the families I work with. On any given day I provide screening, assessment, advocacy, and ongoing case management for my clients. I assist families in establishing short- and long-term goals to help them stabilize their lives and move toward securing a more stable housing environment. I provide support services such as information and referrals, goal setting, problem-solving, and linkages to any needed services for mental health, behavioral health, domestic violence, parenting, life skills, medical, education, housing, and employment.
I love the work I do but it doesn’t come without challenges. Some barriers for the families I work with are the lack of appropriate affordable housing for low-income households and the lack of adequate mental health services. My role at Heading Home allows me to provide families with guidance and support so they can problem-solve, build resiliency, and overcome difficult obstacles that come into their paths.
The most rewarding part of my job is when I see a family after they have exited our housing program and they share all of the progress they have made on their own. When a client tells me that after maintaining stable employment they received a promotion or a parent tells me their child is doing exceptional in school, I can’t help but smile and be proud of their accomplishments. Knowing I played a crucial part in helping families achieve their goals and that I helped guide them to a point in their lives where the whole family is happy, healthy, safe, and housed is why I love working with the Families Heading Home program.