Career Development Forum – Cohort 3

Instructions: A customer makes an appointment with you to find work. The individual needs assistance with housing and meals.
Answer these questions:
1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing? Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you.
Make one original post and then respond to 1 team member’s post. You will make a total of two posts. For your original post, responds in a paragraph or two for the 2 questions. For your 2nd post, respond in several sentences.
Remember that our learning group works in a full value environment: We treat our colleagues with respect and professionalism. Our comments should reflect this culture.

38 thoughts on “Career Development Forum – Cohort 3”

  1. Margarita Chavez says:

    Luckily we have a partner agency, Labor Community Services in our building that has a food pantry and they also distribute grocery cards for other staples that we refer our clients to. As far as rental the partner agency has rental assistance funds if they cannot help, they would then refer them to 211LA Services.
    In order to find out what special needs clients have we ask questions about this on the intake first. Secondly, we have our program coordinator inquire about their needs as they begin to check-in with clients and draw out additional information of barriers that may be holding them back.

    1. Dorian Esters says:

      Yes, I forgot tho mention 211 as a referral agency that could help with housing and food. I agree wholeheartedly that a self-sufficiency matrix should be done as well as a formal intake to get an idea of one’s immediate basic needs, and how to best help and empower them.

    2. Carrian Foster says:

      2-1-1 is a great resource for anyone in need. As our region is so prone to wildfires, the 2-1-1 is a valuable resource for people in the community that have lost their homes and belongings and are struggling financially under incredible circumstances.

      1. Nanci Hankerd says:

        Carrian, I was not aware of 2-1-1. That sounds like a great resource, its true, all of the fires that the North State is going through, some families have gone through losing everything several times. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Sounds like a good starting point after a crisis.

  2. Dorian Esters says:

    Regarding housing, I would first need to determine what kind of housing and their ability to pay or not. Then find out if it’s just for the individual or for them and other family members as well. If so, how many. Once I obtain that information, I could begin determining the housing referral. Could be Hopix, shelters, Churches, Rehabs, private homeowners, property rental companies. Regarding food, I would refer in house to our program partner, Labor Community Services.

    Once the individual’s basic needs are met I would assess and work with them towards employment.

  3. Dorian Esters says:

    The following are four techniques that I have found helpful.
    1. Helping the individual get comfortable and relaxed by offering them something to drink.
    2. Not getting straight to the point by making small talk.
    3. Completing a Self-Sufficiency Matrix.
    4. Asking open ended questions.

    1. Tracey Almon says:

      I found that some people just want someone to listen to them and point them in the right direction. Small talk may work for some but others want and need you to get straight to the point. They are only there because maybe they had an appointment and did not want to miss it or wanted help.

  4. Christy Hernandez says:

    If a customer needed assistance with food, we have a couple of Food Banks in our community that they might be able to help with food immediately. I would also suggest that they talk with someone at Health and Human Services to see about CalFresh/SNAP as a possibility as well. For the housing need, its a little trickier in our small community, as we don’t have many resources, however, I would refer them to Housing Authority to see how they might be able to help.

    1. Junell McCall says:

      I agree with you about sending clients to local food banks; and especially at churches. The SNAP benefits would be ideal for clients to ensure that their primary needs are met while they seek employment. Although you live in a small community, I wonder if the neighboring counties would offer assistance. I had a student who moved to another county because they had section 8 housing available when my county did not have openings. Just a thought.

  5. Christy Hernandez says:

    One technique I’ve found that is helpful at discovering barriers is making the individual feel comfortable, talking a little bit before the Assessment Interview, possibly finding common ground. People are more likely to open up about things if they are not being asked questions like a robot.

    1. Kaylynn Wilson says:

      I like the idea of finding common ground and making individuals feel comfortable. I believe that this is essential when it comes to helping individuals that need assistance. You want to let them know they are not alone and that they are human and capable of being in better situations, finding common ground is a way to express that sentiment.

  6. Lynn Langdon says:

    I would refer the client to some of the local resources available. For immediate hot meals, St. Vincent de Paul Dining and the Eureka Rescue Mission. For food pantries and more of staple type of food, I would provide them information about Food for People. I would also encourage them to apply for CalFresh benefits through the Department of Health and Human Services (start by calling 877-410-8809).

    Regarding housing, for temporary immediate need, Eureka Rescue Mission, Arcata House Partnership, the Betty Kwan Chinn Center as well as have them reach out to DHHS Street Outreach Service. For more permanent solutions to housing, I would connect them with the County’s Housing Support Program. I would also have the client reach out 2-1-1 (Humboldt Information and Resource Center) and one of the Family Resource Centers in the area to help provide additional resources and support.

    1. Junell McCall says:

      I agree with you that building rapport is the first step. If a client doesn’t feel like they can trust you, they will shut down. I like your approach of explaining why you are asking the questions from the assessment.

  7. Lynn Langdon says:

    With all of my clients, my first thing I try to do is develop a rapport with them as a first step. As I feel the client beginning to open up, and they get a sense of understanding of the resources that I am able to help with, I then say, “Okay, now I have to get into the paperwork portion, and have some sensitive questions. The reason behind these questions is to make sure I can provide you with all the services / resources that I can to help you.” By having the questions framed in that sort of way, after building rapport, I find most clients are willing to open up and help provide the support needed.

    1. Christy Hernandez says:

      Developing rapport is definitely needed, in my opinion, in order for people to open up and answer those sensitive questions. I like your statement, of forewarning them of what’s to come. Some of those questions are difficult to ask and answer for some people, and framing the set up as you do, I think makes it a little easier and explains the reason why we have to ask the questions we do.

    2. Kevin Appnel says:

      Hi Lynn, I agree 100%! Many people have more pride than is realized and they don’t wish to openly admit that they are struggling to keep their bills paid, family fed, etc. The more trust and relationship that is built, the more they may be open to helping you understand the issues that can affect their need and ability to successfully secure a job.

    3. Margaret Talcott says:

      Lynn, building rapport is key. It sounds like you are doing a really good job.

  8. Junell McCall says:

    Instructions: A customer makes an appointment with you to find work. The individual needs assistance with housing and meals.
    Answer these questions:
    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
    I would assist them with locating work after they had their primary needs met. I would refer the individual to the local social services agencies such as the Housing and Grants Administration, the Spring Hill Resource Center, the Rental Assistance Program, the Volusia County Food Stamp Office, the Family Renew Hope Place, local food pantries.
    If they needed housing immediately, I would refer them to a local shelter. If they already had shelter and was in danger of not having their rent/mortgage payment, I would refer them to social services for emergency housing payment assistance. If they wanted to move to a better location, I would refer them to the housing authority.
    If they had children, I would refer them to Children’s Services where they would receive services to support all of them. In addition to assessing the situation and referring them to the proper locations, I would provide them with this list of curated information and allow them to use my office phone to call the locations:
    List of Social Services Agencies:
    West Volusia
    Daytona Beach
    New Smyrna Beach
    The Salvation Army Daytona Beach
    Daytona Beach, FL
    (386) 236-2020

    Phone Numbers for Shelters:
    321-637-6670 Brevard County
    352-369-8100 Marion County
    386-586-5111 Flagler County
    386-329-0379 Putnam County
    352-343-9732 Lake County
    407-665-0311 Seminole County
    (386) 239-0861 Volusia County

    Phone Numbers for Food Stamps:

    Florida Department of Children and Families
    State government office
    Daytona Beach, FL · Near Tia Cori’s Tacos
    (866) 762-2237
    Volusia County Human Services
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    (386) 423-3309

    2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing? Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you.
    I would use active listening skills making sure to give eye contact, nod my head and say, “um hmm” every so often to assure the individual that I am listening to them. I will validate their feelings and repeat to them what they said to me so they will know that I heard them and am concerned. I will use open-ended questions to encourage them to express their feelings and how they feel about a situation.

    1. Antoinette Destefano says:

      Junell, It looks like you have a lot of the bases covered. Sometimes though people do not feel comfortable with going to child services in fear they will take the children away from them. There are also local churches that have food pantries and can also help with rent payments.

    2. Dominique McInnis says:

      Very detailed oriented. I love how you included the names and numbers to resources which shows you did more investigative research. I would definitely have to do more research if faced with this challenge, because unfortunately, I am not sure of the specifics of my local organizations. We see so many panhandlers, that it makes you wonder if shelters are accepting individuals.

      I believe attentiveness is so important, and you repeating to them things spoken will most definitely validate their feelings.

  9. Kaylynn Wilson says:

    For work I would refer the customer to career service centers such as career source flager Volusia County, Family Crisis center, and one stop employment. For food I would refer them to the local food stamps office, and food pantries such as the salvation army, Halifax Urban Ministries, and Second Bank food harvest, just to name a few in the area. Techniques I find useful when doing an intake interview would be to start with an ice breaker, you want to individual to feel comfortable enough to open up to you, so give them information about yourself and how you can help, throw in a personal struggle so that they know they are not alone. Next have the individual open up about their situation and areas where they need help. Also ask open ended questions, and respond so that they know you are listening. I would also offer them encouragement, let them know you are there to help the situation get better.

    1. Nanci Hankerd says:

      I like your approach with an intake interview by making the person feel comfortable. Many times it is hard for people to come in to a Job Center especially if is their first time so you want them to feel welcome, and they feel like they want to come back to work with us some more.

  10. Kevin Appnel says:

    Hi everyone, I live in York County, PA which is considered part of South Central Pennsylvania. York is located about 100 miles west of Philadelphia, PA and 50 miles north of Baltimore, MD.

    If I had a client in need of work as well as housing and meals I would refer them to an excellent organization in our area called “Community Progress Council (CPC). CPC “works with low- and moderate-income people of all ages in York County to examine their current situations and determine how our programs best align with their needs.” This organization was developed out of President Lyndon B. Johnson declaration of war on poverty in 1964. Some of the programs offered by CPC include Early Childhood Education, Housing and Financial Counseling, Workforce Development, Self-Sufficiency Programs, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Community of Hope (which provides food in times of emergency). They would be the organization that is best-equipped to assist this individual with ALL of their needs.

    In regards to intake interview techniques, I need to admit that in my role my organization offers services to K-12 students, predominantly designed for grades 9-12. I rely on high school counselors for the recruitment of students into our programs, so I am not having any direct interaction with students until they are already enrolled in our career exploration and development programs. Theoretically, if I was to be completing in-take interviews I would be sure to include some open-ended questions and employ active-listening to help better understand their situation, asking follow-up questions when necessary. While they may come in saying they need a job, they may be distracted by issues that could affect their employment such as housing, food, and childcare concerns which need to be addressed to help maximize their chances of success in their job.

    1. Antoinette Destefano says:

      I agree with you, Kevin. Even though they came in to get a job, their life situation could affect their ability to be a successful employee. Their living situations including food and housing should be addressed first before they can think about getting a concrete job and not a day labor job.

  11. Antoinette Destefano says:

    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
    Housing: Volusia County has some county resources. These include grants, house choice voucher programs, and temporary energy assistance through human resources.
    Catholic Charities of Central Florida also provides services in Volusia county for needy families.
    Shelter shows the various shelters that are available in Volusia County.

    Food: Halifax Urban Ministries, The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, United Way of Volusia – Flagler Counties, Second Harvest Food Bank

    2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing? Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you.
    I would start with an ice breaker. Tell the person about myself. Any personal struggles I have been through. Ask open-ended questions so the person will have to talk. I would be involved in their answers and can either comment on what they said or ask a follow-up question. They would know that I am listening to them.

  12. Carrian Foster says:

    When a client has food insecurities, there are several resources that they can be referred to in our region. Dignity Health offers a program called Connected Living where free consumable items are given free of charge. In the wake of Covid-19, the Connected Living Program is now available for a weekly contact-free pick up. The client may also qualify for Cal/Fresh and this could be a valuable resource for them. Additionally there are 3 food co-ops in our region and our local rescue mission provides daily warm meals to those in need provided they were not in a position to qualify for other programs or had no way of storing or preparing meals. The rescue mission would be the first resource I would direct any client to that was unable to secure a place to stay on their own. In addition to food and shelter, the rescue mission has a variety of resources available to assist with individuals that a struggling to get back on their feet.

    When working with clients that are struggling with food & shelter needs, I would engage the client in a calm, relaxed and pleasant manner utilizing my helping skills to create rapport and build trust with my client. Being an active listener as they tell their story and really hearing what their barriers are, my hope would be to connect them with a position that would also be nearest to the resources they needed most.

  13. Tracey Almon says:

    A customer makes an appointment with you to find work. The individual needs assistance with housing and meals.

    I would refer them to the following:
    • Volusia County Community Services
    o Human Services Programs (to name a few)
     Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program
     Rental &Mortgage Assistance
     Water Assistance
     Prescription Assistance
    • A food bank or a church

    During an intake interview I found that asking the questions:
    • How are you doing?
    • How is life treating you?
    • Are there any concerns you need to inform me about?
    • Is there anything preventing you from succeeding or accomplishing your first goal?

  14. Dominique McInnis says:

    A customer makes an appointment with you to find work. The individual needs assistance with housing and meals.
    Answer these questions:
    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
    I would definitely have to do my research and make some phone calls. At times, certain shelters do not intake individuals due to spacing. Also, places providing meals have specific timeframes for individuals. I would not ask the customer to make contact with these organization. I, or someone in my organization, would take the time to reach out to be sure that the customer is faced with one less burden or task.
    Here are some of the potential places that could assist this individual:
    Mississippi Faith Based Coalition For Community Renewal, Inc. Jackson
    Jackson, MS

    Gateway Rescue Mission
    Jackson, MS 39203
    (601) 944-0409
    Shelter for men

    Voice Of Calvary Ministries Jackson
    Jackson, MS 39203

    Stewpot Community Services – Matt’s House (for Women And Children)
    Jackson, MS 39203
    (601) 353-2759

    Salvation Army Center For Hope Jackson
    Jackson, MS 39206
    (601) 982-4881

    Stewpot Community Services (for Women And Children)
    Jackson, MS 39203

    Information gathered from-

    2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing? Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you.
    I think casual conversation and a warm welcoming environment are two techniques that would help me to discover barriers. In casual conservation, I can ask things such as how are you enjoying the weather, how is your family, what are some of your favorite tv shows and which one is most relatable to you, etc. A warm environment could include a room with plenty of sunlight, coffee/beverages, snacks, etc.

    1. Monica Aigner says:

      I like the idea to prepare a warm environment to give the client the message that he/she is welcomed, which could help to lessen tension or anxiety.

  15. Nanci Hankerd says:

    In Trinity County, California the two agencies that we partner with are HRN (Human Response Network), they provide a variety of services for children, individuals, and families of all types and sizes. Early childhood development, assisting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, provide health and nutritional supports and serving families, youth, and the community.

    The other agency is Health and Human Services. They encourage self sufficiency by administering the highest level of services in a manner that is consistent with local, federal and state guidelines. They participate in several programs, also helping people get back into the work place.

  16. Nanci Hankerd says:

    I have not done an intake interview, however, our organization has several pre-made forms to address the clients needs in a very professional and kind matter. We try to get the information needed in order to best serve the client based on their needs. I have observed the career advisors during an intake, and they have all been very calm and respectful and they make the client feel comfortable.

    1. Margaret Talcott says:

      Nanci, respect is so important! It goes such a long way to building rapport and trust.

  17. Margaret Talcott says:

    If someone were to come to me and indicated that they needed support with housing and meals, I would look at the local Humboldt Community Resources Guide. Housing is very limited in Humboldt County; however, the list provides options through Betty Chinn’s family shelter and village, Redwood Community Action Agency, tribal housing, and the Grove through College of the Redwoods. The list specifies various populations that would qualify for certain types of housing. Again, using the Humboldt Community Resources list, meals could be provided through Food for People, Free Meal, and Cal Fresh—who has a partnership with our local Farmer’s Market so that individuals on Cal Fresh can obtain fresh fruits and vegetables.

    A technique which has been helpful to identify barriers with a client is to focus on their goals and motivations. When someone shares their hopes, it is easier to discuss the steps that someone would need to take to reach that goal. Within that discussion, barriers can be identified and steps can be put into place to remove the obstacles. It is important to be realistic and practical, as sometimes it may take years for someone to reach their goal, such as going to college.

    1. Baraka Mapp says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Margaret Talcott. A community resource guide is very helpful in identifying local agencies with programs and services that will assist the customer. Building trust and speaking with the client is also very important in understanding a customer’s needs. All are vital for a successful intake process.

  18. Baraka Mapp says:

    I would refer the customer to partnering agencies such as Human Services. For example, the Volusia County Humans Services offers many needs assistance programs, including the Rental and Morgage Assistance and Summer Food Program. Other partners with relevant programs include the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida – Volusia County Branch and the Salvation Army. Getting to know the customer and conducting a needs assessment helps discover barriers in an intake interview. The survey instrument design is to capture the information to indicate the customer’s obstacles that could be a risk for keeping employment. This technique helps to identify barriers to make the best recommendation for referring the customer to a partner.

  19. Monica Aigner says:

    At this time, because of the pandemic, we are referring people who need housing assistance to the COVID Rent Relief Program, this is administered by the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The $20-million funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES act expands rental assistance and homelessness prevention to low-income households that have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The funding was introduced by County Executive and approved by the County Council in July.
    There are many locations where we can refer for food assistance, many organizations and churches are providing free meals especially during this time. For a monthly food provision, I can refer the client to Manna Food, which also I can help the client to fill the application for SNAP.
    The tool that helps me to identify the challenges and barriers that the client has is the intake interview in our first meeting, first I give him/her a questionnaire where are questions about general information, job experience, education, barriers, goals, then we discuss with more detail about his/her answers.

    1. Shirma Ramroop Butts says:

      I do agree that there are now additional opportunities for people to find housing with the CARES act housing options. Completing our career center project with a focus on COVID-19 affected unemployment has opened my eyes to the different options t6hat many people can take advantage of that they may not necessarily be aware of. It is our duty to offer and expose our clients to all possible opportunities, especially those that are outside of the norm.

  20. Shirma Ramroop Butts says:

    People who are in a situation where they are in need of housing and food are already in a place in life where their moral compass and pride are in a debilitated place. In order to remove barriers in in taker will to come from a place of empathy and respect. Creating an comfortable, non-judgmental environment is key as many people do not openly expressing short comings. I would review their intake forms and paperwork so they do not need to continuously repeat how they got to that position. Already having an understanding of one’s situation will make the transition of conversation a bit easier for most.
    For my specific situation, I work with higher education students and we have our career development center along with resource center. For our specific county I would recommend food banks that are run by quite a few church ministries I am familiar with. Also, SNAP food assistance programs can serve as a personal method of food purchase. In Volusia county, FL there is a program called the Volusia County Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) thar provides housing choice vouchers for those in need. These are all possibilities that can assist those in need while they wait to get back on their feet.

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