Career Development Forum – Harrisburg

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.

75 thoughts on “Career Development Forum – Harrisburg”

  1. Wendy Conroy says:

    1.DHHS is a great resource for steady influx of food benefits for those that qualify. We have a list of food pantries in the area for those that just need a little help for a short period of time and that may not usually qualify under DHHS income guidelines.
    For housing, we refer to United Way, HDC and Hispanic Service Center that have access to different housing grants. Unfortunately, there are long waiting lists but we try to keep applicants encouraged by letting them know that sometimes when applicants don’t respond in time, the next applicant is contacted. It isn’t unusual for someone to move up a long list in 2 to 3 months. We stress how important it is to make sure their contact information is up to date and that they respond to agency calls quickly.
    2. We Have the back of our ISS folder that covers some of those questions, but an informal interview is something that has really helped me with these situations. We try to cover some of those areas in a very general way stating that in these difficult times, it may benefit someone they know. These are delicate questions and asking for help is not easy. Sometimes we will send an updated resource list to our customers especially in the winter months when seasonal work ends and UIA benefits may not be enough.

    1. Tori Diegel says:

      I agree that DHHS is a great resource. I do wish in our rural area that we had more resources available for housing. The lists are long, and housing in our area is expensive and not readily available.
      I like your informal interview technique. I try to do the same with clients. I think its important to build that repour with them before asking those difficult questions.

  2. Tori Diegel says:

    1. When we have a client that comes in in need of assistance we actually like to put a folder together with a list of food banks in our county as well as other local resources for them. We will often refer clients to Human Development Commission in regards to housing needs. We have a Battered Woman’s shelter in the area through HDC as well. DHHS is a helpful resource for things such as emergency assistance (shut off on gas or electricity), food assistance and medical insurance..

    2. A technique that I have found that helps clients to really open up is that I am relaxed. I also try to create a safe and relaxing environment for them. I work hard to create a judgement free space where the individual can speak freely without worry that I am judging them. When they are speaking to me I don’t things distract me. I am fully present and engaged with the client.

    1. Cindy Zambron says:

      HDC and DHHS are a good resource for people struggling with housing and food. It is also important that people feel relaxed and feel that their struggles are important to our agency too.

  3. Marcie Jeffery says:

    1. Assistance with housing and lack of food is definitely a problem in our community. I would start by asking my client if they currently have a Case Worker at DHHS and if they’ve reached out to them. Fortunately, for our county, we have a very good partnership with our DHHS Case Workers. They are willing to assist us when they have the available resources. Unfortunately, their funding fluctuates, so they may not always be able to help depending on the timing. HDC is another great resource in our community. They provide different programs such as a homeowner program, a Housing Resource Call Center for people experiencing homelessness or eviction, and a Self-Sufficiency program that also provides a food commodity program for families. We also have access to a list of Pop Up Pantry’s throughout the county that provides drive through food giveaways.

    2. One of the forms our client’s fill out is a form called “Tell Us Your Story!”. The questions on the form are “What circumstances bring you into our Service Center,” “What challenges are you facing in your current job search?” “What training are you interested in and why?” and “What else would you like us to know about you?”. This form gives us a starting point with our client’s to ask more questions about what we can assist with. It opens the door to a greater discussion of their personal situation and helps them express their current circumstances in their words, giving us the opportunity to ask questions about subjects they want to talk about.

    1. Tara Tiedeman says:

      Marcie, I appreciate your comment with respect to our success story worksheet, “Tell Us Your Story”. This is a great way to identify barriers, as it does state What challenges are you facing? Very good insight. This form has proven beneficial with respect to getting the customer to outline their situation in their own words. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marcie. They are very relevant.

    2. mohargan says:

      Marcie, the “Tell Us your Story!” activity sounds like it can help break the ice with new customers. Having a clear understanding of the customer’s unique circumstances and perspective is so important, especially in those beginning stages. Validating what they find to be top priority is likely to help build a positive rapport. Also, I can see how discussions from this activity might shed some light on other factors the customer hadn’t yet recognized as being linked to success in the workplace.

      1. lneil says:

        Marcie, I really like the “Tell Us Your Story” worksheet idea. I also agree that they are telling you about their situation in their own words which can be very helpful in addressing their needs. This is a great way to break the ice and discuss the things written. It also can open up the conversation to include things that may or may not be written.

    3. lneil says:

      1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
      For Housing: We refer them to Blueprints (our area’s Community Action agency), or to the City Mission or Women’s Shelter. There is also a Housing program through our County(s). It depends on the actual need of the individual. Referral processes are already in place.
      For Meals: We refer them to our local Food Banks (multiple throughout the area), or the City Mission (where they can get a daily meal). They can also be referred to our County Assistance offices to check eligibility for Food Stamps.

      2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing?
      a. During our intake and assessment process, we do a “Suitability Interview / Check off Sheet” This isn’t to screen individuals out of our services, it is to identify any barriers that they may have that would impact their training and/or employment goals. Our case managers go thru this with each individual and anything that is identified is discussed is then added to the individual’s plan of action, if necessary, to work on. We have a large network of social service and community-based entities as well as County programs that can assist with their needs. We would then refer the individual as deemed appropriate for service.
      b. Each of our area’s PA CareerLink offices have developed Resource Directories that are provided to the individuals that visit the PA CareerLink offices. It is also sent to all of our area’s partners, county(s) agencies, shelters, etc. These directories list the various partners (internal and external) that are available to assist individuals and what type of service they offer. This ranges from housing, literacy, veterans’ services, utilities, food/shelter needs, training providers, GED services, etc…
      This document is referred to when our staff conduct the Suitability Interview/Check off Sheet with the individual. The resources that pertain to their needs are highlighted. Staff also do a formal referral to the entity on behalf of the individual.

      Marcie, I really like the “Tell Us Your Story” worksheet idea. I also agree that they are telling you about their situation in their own words which can be very helpful in addressing their needs. This is a great way to break the ice and discuss the things written. It also can open up the conversation to include things that may or may not be written.

      1. anicolella says:

        Lisa, your Resource Directories are so great! I have used them and appreciate the time your team put in to creating them!

  4. Scott Beattie says:

    Keep in mind that we are the lead agency in the One Stop Center project. When and wherever possible we house as many agencies with us as we have room for and are willing to come in. Flint is a pretty good example of that having such service as AARP for senior citizens, Veteran Services, Literacy services for non-grads and low literacy, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) for a wide range of disability issues to name only a few. We have almost as much information as the 211 system (as it applies to employment readiness). It only takes a moment of light but friendly inquiry to find the first thing we can help them with. Once I find that first problem spot and give them information for assistance, they are usually comfortable enough to take a moment to look at their current situation and maybe find that there is an Army, they have already paid for waiting to help. Their taxes paid for those services, it’s important to point out that it isn’t a handout, they have paid for it (for many that is easier to swallow). The two I find most often are literacy or disability issues and we have partners in those areas to help Family Literacy and MRS. We are not necessarily passing them off to another agency, but adding a partner to their advancement team.

    1. Marcie Jeffery says:

      Well said, Scott! Our agency has always held many great partnerships within our Region. I believe they all feel the same way about us. We all are here to help, not take credit or pass customers on. Also, reminding customers that our services are free because they are provided by tax dollars is a great way for them to feel comfortable utilizing our help without guilt or embarrassment.

  5. Scott Beattie says:

    Michigan Works! Is unique not in providing uniform services, but providing services unique to their individual county or region. My coworkers are showing how they design methods to meet the needs of their different SDAs

  6. Tara Tiedeman says:

    I find that using a variety of helping techniques, such as attending, genuineness and empathy are a few tools to utilize when trying to identify a customer’s barriers. I believe I do incorporate the SOLER values during meetings with my customers. SOLER being defined as; Squarely, Open, Lean, Eye Contact and Relaxed. This is in relation to your body language.
    I utilize our WIOA eligibility guidelines to identify barriers. We use these guidelines to ask a series of questions pertaining to eligibility and barriers alike. These markers are deemed as barriers to employment. Some of these range from low-income, to single parent status, to a minority group, to identifying basic skills, along with barriers such as offender status and unemployed, amongst others. There is a direct correlation between our screening process and identifying a customer’s barriers. When there is eligibility linked to these barriers, one may be more likely to “open up” to the career coach.
    These are techniques that work well for me. When you incorporate the mindfulness of your posture, thus SOLER values, along with reflecting and listening, I find that it seems to assist in the customer sharing more with you, in reference to the barriers they are facing.

    1. Amanda Osborn says:

      Empathy and understanding is so important in the case manager, customer relationship. IF they feel you are looking down on them or not open to what they are going through, people tend to shut down and we don’t get the opportunity to help them with their barriers. Tara you are one of the best for this. People are always so comfortable with you because you always listen. You are helpful and people just tend to want to be your friend because of your sweet and bubbly personality.

  7. Amanda Osborn says:

    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
    • If someone comes into the office and needs assistance with housing and food, I first find out the location in which they live. I would reach out to our local DHHS office as well as our local Hope thrift store to see if they could get the family help with food. I would also give them the dates and times for our local food pantries as well as to our local Project Blessing who helps people in our community with food.
    • For housing I would start off by asking them about their current living situation. Are they staying with family, are they in a domestic violence situation and then make appropriate referrals to Human Development Commission, Eva’s Place or the local mens shelter (Hope House). Each of these options are based on the level of emergency they are having in their housing situation
    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 tend to be very investigative. Which is helpful in my professional life, but I must make sure I keep it in check because I can come across and interrogative. I tend to ask a lot of questions, both open and closed. We also have multiple forms such as our ISS and Youth ISS, Barrier removal forms, as well as Tell me about yourself forms. All of which assist with finding out about the customer. Most of all just building that relationship of trust between case manager and client so that they feel comfortable opening up about their current situation.

    1. Angel Schornack says:

      With most of us working at GST Michigan Works I am seeing a pattern here of where we make referrals for assistance it is all good information and goes to show we know our stuff. With us being from the same agency we use the same forms/paperwork to help us help the customer. Building the trust between ourselves and the customer is a goal we all strive for.

  8. Cindy Zambron says:

    1. The first referral would be to DHHS for housing and food assistance. If a person is a victim of domestic violence, I would refer them to Eva’s House. If they are a homeless man, I would refer to Sanilac House of Hope. There are a few food banks available in the area and Country Side Free Methodist Church offers venison to people in need.
    2. The SOLER technique helps to create the relationship that individuals need to talk about hard things such as barriers. It is important to meet people where they are instead of where I think they should be. Compassion and understanding are important to forge this relationship.

    1. Angel Schornack says:

      Cindy, I agree with your statements, I also like to use the SOLER approach. (I see I had a typo in my comment and typed SOLAR) good grief 🙂 We also refer to DHHS. I have heard of Eva’s House but I don’t think I was aware of Sanilac House of Hope. I will have to remember that.

      1. rspotts says:

        I have never heard of SOLER but when I looked it up I realized I am doing this daily or I try to. This is important to do in engaging. I love what you do! Never give up giving hope 🙂

    2. Heather Parmely-Roegner says:

      Cindy, I agree that the SOLER technique creates a comfortable environment. It also makes me more aware of my presentation. I am always cold so I have to be very mindful that I am not crossing my arms or my legs to keep warm.

    3. mmuncer says:

      Cindy, I completely agree that the SOLER technique is a great way to connect with customers and make them feel more comfortable. I have used this for many years and it is very beneficial.

  9. Angel Schornack says:

    1.To help with housing needs I would refer to MSHDA-Michigan State Housing Development, Human Development Commission, Huron County Great Start, and Huron County Homeless Solutions. Depending on the situation another referral could be made to Huron County SafePlace-a resource for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. More than just a shelter it provides residential and non-residential comprehensive services to women and children from Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola counties. For food assistance I would refer them to DHHS and provide them with information on local food pantries. This time of year, there may be additional help from churches and local businesses to help with food and would provide that information as well. Another tool they might find helpful just in general is the website.
    2. I like to use the SOLAR approach and the essential helping skills-Attending, listening, reflecting, encouraging, questioning and silence- (once I have built a relationship with them). To provide a warm and welcoming environment to make them feel as comfortable as they can. A smile goes a long way. I realize each person/situation is different so the approach I use can be different for each customer. I also know it is not easy for some customers to share their barriers. As an agency we ask customers to complete the “Tell us your story form” and this can be a helpful tool to get them talking. We also complete an ISS folder, and the back of the folder is specific to asking about barriers, this is a helpful tool also.

  10. rspotts says:

    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance? I work with people that have barriers from a past history of substance use disorder – some may have criminal backgrounds, no transportation due to license suspended, no housing due to losing an apartment and needing to attend training, no credit due to past mistakes, and many other barriers that keep them from employment that will sustain them and their monthly bills.
    The type of referrals that I make regularly are for housing rental assistance, record pardoning and expungement, free legal aid, online services to assist with credit improvement, and public transportation.

    2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing? We tend to use assessments – family needs assessment and our OARS form and WIOA application gives us good insight for the intake process and I have talked about their past history of substance use disorder if they feel comfortable to discuss this. I have found though that a conversation with the client is the best way to hear what the barriers are – they express themselves of what is keeping them from a good job that they want to have/not need to have.
    The best technique I find that works with my clients is to have open conversations about my past mistakes and how I have overcome them – being transparent really helps my clients to know that it is ok to not be perfect and that there is a path on how to make it happen to achieve their goals they have for themselves. Then I walk them through step by step the process of career development.

    3. Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you. Be conversational as much as possible – when clients feel that they are a number and not heard or recoginized for their strengths that it is when they give up the programs/systems that the state has put into place to best help. Sometimes I feel that most volunteer organizations serve people a little better because they are doing out of their heart and not because it is their paycheck.
    The second technique that works well for me is stay organized. It can be difficult to keep up with your work if you are doing it well. When you do it well it comes back to bit you in the butt because then you are overwhelmed of what to accomplish first but if you have a organized method and stick to it then you will be able to keep up with your work.

    1. natalie.bargeron says:

      Hi. I also feel that having a conversation is key to making a connection. The assessments are good to help guide the conversation, but there are plenty of areas that would go untouched without real human interaction. Having a conversation with the person helps to remove the stigma beyond assessments and just being another number on a caseload.

    2. jrearick says:

      I like that you are transparent about your past mistakes and how you have moved on from them. I think it is important for those that we work with, especially those with barriers such as a history of substance use disorder, to see that others are imperfect, with emphasis on how resilient we are as humans. I also find that being conversational and honest with my customers typically helps them feel comfortable working with me and leads to them providing me with more information. I know I respond better myself to services when the worker is conversational and personable.

    3. cguistwite says:

      I LOVE that you mentioned credit repair!! Many people, including some workforce development professionals, are completely unaware that a significant number of employers will check credit ratings of potential new hires. Bad credit can definitely be a barrier to employment. You had also mentioned expungement and pardons, these are also great things to consider if you are working with clients with justice involvement. BCPS is involved in the Pardon Project Berks County. We train pardon coaches and connect them to individuals seeking pardons to aid them through the process.

  11. natalie.bargeron says:

    I work in Philadelphia. For participants who are currently experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of losing housing, I would refer them to the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services. They provide emergency housing for those who are homeless, as well as a free food locator for meal sites. For other housing assistance, I would refer participants to Clarifi. My program has a partnership through the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment & Opportunity with Clarifi to assist with financial hardships that impact areas such as housing. Clarifi has certified housing counselors that assist with “maintaining a rental, purchasing a home, or preventing a foreclosure”.
    The techniques that I’ve found to be most useful to discover barriers are attending, reflecting, and questioning. Attending can allow someone to feel more comfortable in sharing and put me in a position to observe verbal and non-verbal ques more accurately. Reflecting and questioning can help to confirm the root of some barriers and the best way to address them. The two techniques that works the best for me is attending and questioning. I feel that they open the doors of communication and give someone the sense of support that will encourage them to keep moving forward.

    1. jrusso says:

      Networking is such a big part of our clients needs. I feel sometimes we forget how important those partnerships are to both outside agencies and community leaders. It is so hard for an individual to get and maintain employment if they do not have a place to call home and at least one meal a day.

    2. cmoyer says:

      I work in Reading and we have a similar agency to help out people experiencing homelessness called Berks Coalition. If I had a client who is homeless I would refer them there just like you would to the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services. We also has free meal providers in our area that we can send clients to if they need help. Just like your agency has partners in the community to help with housing services we do as well in Reading. I think it is essential that providers in the area work together to help out those in need based on what their needs are at that time. I also agree with the techniques you use to discover unknown barriers. I like how you mentioned that it is important to make them feel as if the doors of communication are always open so they have that sense of support.

  12. jrusso says:

    During the intake process, as I am getting to know the client, I would be asking some closed ended questions to form trust. Once trust is formed, while asking questions about barriers, I would shift to more open ended questions to see how great the need and how urgent that need is. I would break into those deeper questions by explaining to the client about the area’s 2-1-1 system, and asking if they are registered. If not, I would ask them to do that right away. Then I would ask if they would like the information I had in my office. If they agree, I would share with them the resources, examples being a Housing application, food pantry listings, shelter listings and agencies that offer FREE hot meals for lunch/dinner. If they are receipted to that information, I may dive even a little bit deeper, and ask if it would be okay if I reached out and contacted my connection at these agencies and I may have additional information for them at our next meeting.. This is the most effective way I have learned to help the client find a job, through building trust and helping them find necessities first such as housing and food.

    1. amcgee says:

      2-1-1 is a great resource that I often forget to utilize, so I’m glad you mentioned it. We also have the same sort of approach with our needs assessment because a lot of the beginning questions are closed-ended questions about demographic data, then it slowly gets more personal. I agree that this helps clients build some trust and get more comfortable before immediately jumping into more serious and complicated questions.

  13. mohargan says:

    During intake with one of our job seeker programs, staff will work with a customer to complete a Family Needs Assessment. This assessment is founded in the two-generational (2Gen) approach with the aim of family self-sufficiency. The customer ranks their household on a scale of 1-5 for domains such as housing, food, mental health, substance abuse, and childcare. For instance, in regard to food, a customer might use the scale to indicate they are unable to secure adequate food for their household without assistance. Staff then help the customer identify priorities and set goals based on the assessment results.

    The assessment is slightly different based on the population served in each program, but it is used in the same general manner. As a customer progresses, the assessment is revisited to recognize targets reached as well as areas needing ongoing case management support. This assessment helps customers confront barriers to employment they might not have otherwise recognized as such. It helps ensure proper planning and helps to maintain motivation for success in employment and/or training.

    When the assessment shows assistance is needed in the areas of housing or food, a job seeker would likely be referred to their county assistance office and the local community action agency. Of course, referrals would be based on the customer’s particular circumstances, but other frequently used resources in times of crisis are community shelters and local food pantries which are often facilitated by churches.

  14. cmoyer says:

    If a client comes in to meet with me for assistance finding work but also states they need assistance with housing and meals there are several resources close to our office I could send them to. If they need a meal there are several soup kitchens in the Reading area they could go to get something to eat. If they would need assistance with housing I would first need to find out from them if they are experiencing homelessness or not. If they are homeless I would refer them to Opportunity House or The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, if they just needed help finding a new place to live I would refer them to Berks Community Action Program or Service Access Management.
    Some useful techniques to discover barriers during an intake interview is to ask open ended questions so the client has to elaborate more instead of just responding with yes or no. Another thing to consider is when creating an intake to think of some of the common barriers your clients experience so you can incorporate questions about those things into an interview and address them right away. Motivational interviewing techniques can be used during intakes as well to pull information out of a client and discover barriers. It’s essential to present yourself as someone who is easy to talk to when completing an intake so the client doesn’t feel like they are just sitting there answering the same questions that they probably have already answered at a different agency.

  15. Heather Parmely-Roegner says:

    A customer makes an appointment with you to find work. The individual needs assistance with housing and meals.
    We are very fortunate in Delaware County. Our agency, Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc, can provide a myriad of programs and services to individuals in need of housing or meals. We currently offer the following housing services:

    1. Emergency Housing through shelter placement or short-term hotel/motel placement.
    2. Homeless Prevention/Rental Assistance. Individuals can receive financial assistance to avoid eviction or move into a new residence.
    3. Rapid Rehousing provides financial assistance and housing assistance to individuals to quickly rehouse any homeless individual/family.
    4. We can provide food assistance through referrals to local food banks and assistance applying for SNAP benefits. For our many other housing programs, please visit our website at

    The method I have used to uncover barriers is to simply listen. If you show that you care, you can create a safe environment where an individual will feel comfortable discussing barriers they are facing.

    1. jfellman says:

      I think your options for assistance is wonderful. We offer very similar programs in our area. I do know in our area the waitlist for some of the housing programs can be long, therefore it doesn’t always go as quickly as I would like for my customers I am serving. I know our housing programs always do their very best to serve everyone they can. Housing needs are in such a high demand.
      I agree with what you said to uncover barriers with a customer. Listening and showing you care does create a safe environment Which helps then feel comfortable to discuss there barriers with you.

    2. rsteinbach says:

      Heather, I also come from a community action background, so that really opened my eyes to the various resources that are available in the area. One of the biggest issues that I have found in this field is that the unawareness of community members for the various programs that are available to them. Marketing these programs has always been difficult and the reason we found this to be was that unless you need the services you don’t really know about them. We are lucky in the Mifflin County area to have an array of social service agencies to aid in helping those with barriers. We have a Community Action Agency along with Mifflin Juniata Human Services that partner to help individuals with housing, food and other assistance programs. I also agree with your method of uncovering barriers, actively listening to an individual is the best way to show that you truly care about their story and encourages the environment of trust. We all are here in these roles because we want to help people and it’s important that represent that by listening and providing support where needed.

  16. jfellman says:

    If I am working with a customer that has expressed housing needs then I would get more information from the customer so I can get details of what the housing need is. Such has past rent assistance to avoid eviction, homelessness, assistance with first months rent or utility help. This will assure that I am directing the customer in the right direction. In our area there is help with rent and utility help. The one agency I would recommend is Central Susquehanna Opportunities. That agency has several program to assist with all types of needs regarding housing. We also have an agency called Community Action Agency. That agency can help with everything such as food, housing, toiletries and utility help. If I came across a situation where I wasn’t sure where to refer my customer for housing needs then I would recommend they utilize the 211 system for assistance.
    I find if you make sure to practice active listening with your customer then you can pick up on little clues that may have been brought up throughout the initial conversation. Then you can use the little clues to ask open ended questions regarding the needs they may have. This will give the customer the opportunity to open up and describe their needs in detail. I also find that if you can find something to relate to with your customer then it helps them feel more comfortable and relaxed. Which can help with the customer feeling that sharing their barriers isn’t a bad thing. That you can relate and understand and will do you best to help the customer. l

    1. Jnunez says:

      I always forget to use 211 – this is a great resource! In addition, I did not think about utility help. In our area, LIHEAP is a great resource for people who are struggling to pay utility bills in the winter. They also have a winterization program where they will come to your house, look at your windows and doors and repair any holes to ensure the heat is staying inside.

    2. jdolan says:

      I like how you find something from your experiences to relate with your customer. This truly helps with meeting the client in their vulnerable state and lets them know you understand where they are coming from.

  17. Jnunez says:

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

    Use the link below that corresponds to your Cohort. You will make 1 original post and respond to at least 1 classmate’s post.

    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
    For a BCPS client in need of housing resources, I would refer them to the Hope Rescue Mission. The Hope Rescue Mission is a shelter for men. During “Code Blue” they are open to anyone who needs shelter. They also have transitional rooms for individuals who are working and are interested in having a more private area. In addition, I would refer the client to City Lights. City Light Ministries. They are open daily from 6am-8am for showers, meals and laundry. If the individual is looking for more housing resources, I would reach out to Berks Coalition to End Homelessness. They are typically the best source of information of other agencies who may have current funding for Housing assistance. For meals, I would refer the client to New Journey Community Outreach. They offer to-go lunches daily and food pantry days. They also have an emergency food-need line.

    2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing?
    In our initial assessment with clients, we ask clients about housing and food needs. Using motivational interviewing techniques is important in getting a client to feel comfortable enough to tell you the needs they may have.

    3. Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you.
    Motivational Interviewing – Asking probing questions is helpful in getting a full picture of what a client may need. In addition, using techniques like reflection is important to understand clearly and fully what your client may need.

  18. jrearick says:

    I work with customers who are looking for jobs or for assistance with training funding. If a customer needs assistance with food or housing, I would offer them different resources. A resource that could help alleviate some of the pressure would be utility assistance, which includes UGI (gas bills), Aqua Pennsylvania’s Helping Hands Program, Pennsylvania American Water Program, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), CSO Cares Energy Fund, and PPL e-PowerWise. I also often refer customers to STEP for additional assistance. As I am still learning different resources, I will also ask other staff about potential resources I may not know about yet to best assist my customers.
    During our initial enrollment, we provide customers with a Family Needs Assessment to fill out and return at the second appointment. This addresses potential areas of need including housing, employment, food, income, transportation, emotional health, family/social support, and more. I like the fact that it addresses more than just physical needs and gives customers a chance to answer those questions on a form that may be difficult to discuss at the first appointment. A technique that I like is simply listening. When I meet new customers, I say that I want to get to know about them and their situation, and then listen/take notes on the things they discuss. While listening, it is important to be non-judgmental and supportive. If a customer is someone that may not share much about themselves, I would utilize more closed-ended questions to start and try to allow for them to open up more as we go, perhaps switching to open-ended questions.

    1. jchase says:

      I think the needs assessment is the perfect way to uncover some barriers that the customer may have, but they are not sure or feeling uncomfortable about asking for help for a specific need. The Family Needs Assessment will also help to normalize some of the pressing issues the customer is facing, so they understand that there are others in the same area who face the same problems. I love that this workforce specialist also takes time to get to know their customer before they get down to the business of assisting them with a job help or whatever. This adds a personal touch to their customer service and shows the customer that they are valued as a human being. The workforce specialist mentions that they utilize close-ended questions to get them talking if they are reluctant at first to say anything. I have used this technique myself and find it to be effective in getting the customer to open up about their needs.

  19. jchase says:

    1. I would refer this customer to several local agencies, depending on the specifics of their situation. For help with housing and food, I would refer them to Centre Helps which helps with both of the stated needs. I would also refer them to the State College Food Bank (or the closest food bank to their home), to the Centre County Housing Authority, and possibly, The Department of Human Services which will direct them to government sponsored programs. Depending on the significance of their need for housing and food (a lot or just a supplement) as well as their current financial situation (are they in poverty?) I would refer them to my company’s EARN program.

    2. Techniques that I have found helpful to in the interview to discover the barriers are the helping techniques we learned about it in chapter one. Empathizing and questioning.

    3. I would blend the questioning and empathizing. I might ask, “What is your most pressing need today?” If they said something like “I haven’t eaten today” I’d quickly offer them a cup of coffee and any snack I could scrounge up in the office kitchen. If they said “ my income doesn’t quite make it to the end of the month, and I could use some help with grocery bills,” , I’d express my sympathies “Wow – that must be really hard and stressful for you.” Then, I’d give them a referral for the local food bank or other agency. If the customer was reluctant to share about his barriers, I would throw out comments like, “Recently, there have been other customers coming to our CareerLink who find they don’t have enough money to pay for food. The economy has hit a lot of people very hard. Is that something you can relate to? How so?” This way I have normalized a potential barrier and opened the door for him to share. I could ask a similar question about other common barriers, just switching things up until I landed on something that resonated with them.

  20. cguistwite says:

    Our agency has created, and updates regularly, a Guide to Services for the justice involved in Berks County. This Guide covers many of the needs and barriers our client face as they work toward success after incarceration or system involvement. Housing and Food are just two of many categories covered. In regard to Housing, we have a couple of shelters – Hope Rescue Mission and Opportunity House, that deal with emergency housing needs. There are also a few area resources such as Berks Coalition to End Homelessness and Berks Community Action Program that can assist with housing needs as part of their programming, which in some cases helps people to find and fund their homes. Of course, all is subject to funding availability and a supply of adequate, safe and affordable housing, which, sadly since the pandemic began seems to be in short supply. Food resources are typically more plentiful and easier to secure. New Journey Community Outreach is close to our office and has a soup kitchen that runs Monday through Friday during the lunch hour to feed the hungry. City Lights provides a drop-in center for breakfast between 6:00 and 8:00 AM each day. There are also several food pantries in the County to help provide individuals or families with groceries.
    Asking about barriers and needs is a standard part of our intake process, in fact our first meeting with clients is a Barriers and Basic Needs Assessment that address the need for housing and food as well as other things like proper ID, connections to medical, D&A and MH care needs. In working with clients, I ask questions, listen intently and reflect for clarity – all things that go a long way in establishing and building a trusting working relationship with them.

    1. rbechdel1 says:

      I like your agency’s idea of a Guide that is regularly updated. I think that would be a great idea for a lot of CareerLink agencies to have. I know that I would utilize something like that. I am new to my agency and newish to the County I am working in and I know I have to learn a lot about our local services. I think this would be super helpful.

  21. amcgee says:

    For housing, I would first determine what kind of housing assistance they need. If the client is homeless and is looking for a place to stay immediately, I would recommend Hope Rescue Mission (a shelter for men), or Opportunity House. If they are looking for housing assistance that is less immediate, I would direct them to Berks Coalition to End Homelessness or Berks Community Action Program. There are also some other resources I could direct them to depending on other services they are already receiving. For food, we have a lot of local food banks or food pantries I could direct them to, or I could direct them to the County Assistance Office to apply for SNAP benefits.

    I try to ask open-ended questions to get more detail about things the client is talking about, and utilize active listening. I also try to start our conversation by asking how I can assist them before starting any sort of intake. Usually they come in with a lot on their mind and were turned away from other places, so I like to see what we are able to assist with before starting an intake so they know we won’t be wasting their time.

    1. rstrother says:

      I also like to start the conversation by asking something like “what brings you in today?” instead of “I need to fill out this form with you.” Sometimes the intake interview feels like you are peeling an onion. As you show genuine interest and empathy, and ask open ended questions to encourage the client to tell you more, they begin to place their trust in you and open up about their needs. I like to compare a client’s demeanor when they come in and when they leave.. It’s suprising how many times they come in with their head down and a frown on their face and leave with their head up and a smile.

  22. lneil says:

    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
    For Housing: We refer them to Blueprints (our area’s Community Action agency), or to the City Mission or Women’s Shelter. There is also a Housing program through our County(s). It depends on the actual need of the individual. Referral processes are already in place.
    For Meals: We refer them to our local Food Banks (multiple throughout the area), or the City Mission (where they can get a daily meal). They can also be referred to our County Assistance offices to check eligibility for Food Stamps.

    2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing?
    a. During our intake and assessment process, we do a “Suitability Interview / Check off Sheet” This isn’t to screen individuals out of our services, it is to identify any barriers that they may have that would impact their training and/or employment goals. Our case managers go thru this with each individual and anything that is identified is discussed is then added to the individual’s plan of action, if necessary, to work on. We have a large network of social service and community-based entities as well as County programs that can assist with their needs. We would then refer the individual as deemed appropriate for service.
    b. Each of our area’s PA CareerLink offices have developed Resource Directories that are provided to the individuals that visit the PA CareerLink offices. It is also sent to all of our area’s partners, county(s) agencies, shelters, etc. These directories list the various partners (internal and external) that are available to assist individuals and what type of service they offer. This ranges from housing, literacy, veterans’ services, utilities, food/shelter needs, training providers, GED services, etc…
    This document is referred to when our staff conduct the Suitability Interview/Check off Sheet with the individual. The resources that pertain to their needs are highlighted. Staff also do a formal referral to the entity on behalf of the individual.

    1. lutzs says:

      I like the idea of a “suitability interview”! It is so important to get this information up front, so that an individual can be successful in the program. Also, how often is your resource directory updated? We have something similar in the Lehigh Valley and it has been a big project to update it, since so much has changed since the pandemic. Also, we like to refer clients to a direct contact, and with the amount of turnover in some of these social service agencies, it is hard to keep an up-to-date list of available resources/contacts.

    2. mross says:

      I really like the directory of resources for the PA CareerLink, and I would love best practices on how to ensure it is properly updated and ‘uniform’. In the South Central Pa Region, we are considering offering a digital version of the PA CareerLink Menu of Services – this would allow authorized users the ability to update the menu as needed, making it more real-time. As of today, many of the resources are printed out on a form but I am certain it is out of date.

  23. jdolan says:

    For a youth who would express needing help with housing and food, I would refer them to 211. 211 is a number providing access to local community services. 211 is available in multiple languages, allowing those in need to access information and obtain referrals to physical and mental health resources; housing, utility, food, and employment assistance; and suicide and crisis interventions. I would ask the youth to reach out to 211 and offer to accompany the youth if that would provide more comfort to them throughout at least the initial contact.
    I would want to be sure that I am directing the youth in the right direction and that I am as clear as possible with their situation. By being as attentive as possible and listening actively, I may be able to pick up on any thoughts, ideas, and unspoken details during context. Using motivational interviewing techniques is important in getting a customer to feel comfortable enough to tell you the needs they may have and develop a trust that is needed in a working relationship. Also, using reflection is important to understand clearly assuring you understand the information correct. I have practiced this technique mostly each time meeting with customers since taking this course. I find myself applying this in everyday conversation and it really does help.
    Customers at the age level of youth I work with usually have not been exposed to many resources at this point and having limited documentation may be the case. I have in the past needed to assist with helping youth get their birth certificate and social security card replacement and either state ID or driver’s license. I utilize support service monies to help tackle this in order to provide documentation for other agencies. I always turn to my team for any further suggestions or references both in ISY and CareerLink staffing.

    1. knwilliams says:

      I would recommend referring a youth directly to a person or calling the agency with them to ensure they are get to the correct department or person. We often teach youth how to self advocate for themselves but when under stress (such as homelessness) they may not express themselves accurately. They may need the support of a trusted adult to guide them through the process.

    2. cmyers1 says:

      I agree with you that you need to listen to the person in order to determine their actual needs. Some people may need less assistance than others or even a different type of assistance. There is no point in sending a client to an organization and having them be told that they don’t qualify for services or that the services they need aren’t provided by that organization. Getting the client to talk is the best way to get the information necessary to assist them even though some people would rather keep some information private because they are embarrassed or ashamed to admit to something.

  24. rstrother says:

    In Beaver County, we refer individuals in need of emergency housing to the Cornerstone of Beaver County. The Cornerstone temporarily places individuals in a hotel or shelter while longer-term housing is secured. Once a client’s emergency housing need is addressed, we refer to the Housing Authority of Beaver County to identify longer-term housing.

    For those in need of a free meal, the Beaver County System of Care publishes a free meal schedule which lists several local organizations throughout the county that offer free meals. The Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Produce to People also offer free groceries to anyone who declares a need.

    During an intake interview, I use a barrier indentification checklist as a guide as I ask the client a combination of open and close-ended questions to identify any barriers they may be facing. I also practice SOLER skills during the intake interview to demonstrate my interest in what they have to say and encourage them to open up. I make very brief notes about potential barriers on the checklist during our conversation and then wrap up by stating “based on our conversation, I feel really confident that I can connect you to a few resources to help with some of the issues you shared. Would you like me to share them with you?”

    1. anaimo says:

      During our enrollment process with the YES program, we complete a Barriers form and a Family needs Assessment with the participant to determine their needs. In Northumberland County, we refer individuals in need of a free meal and housing to the Central Susquehanna Opportunities (CSO). Where they can assist in those needs of interests. They also can help with their housing/Heating assistance and with their previous heating bills. Another great tool is the number 211 which can assist them with making referrals to any Human services related. We do have the Community Action agency. And last, we have the Salvation Army, and they can assist with food along with guiding them to times, dates, locations of church food banks in our county.

      1. agatts says:

        The 211 is great, I completely forgot about that one.

      2. donna.lockings says:

        After reading your post I realize that what we don’t have form that is called a barrier form, we do several assessments that help us to identify barriers. The assessment that would probably expose the most barriers is our immediate needs assessment. This assessment is designed for the case manager to gain information about what the participant needs right now. The questions can ask anything from housing to hygiene or clothing to credit. When I ask these questions, I try t explain them in a manner that is not offensive to the participant.

  25. lutzs says:

    If an individual was struggling with housing, I would refer them to either the Lehigh or Northampton County Housing Authority. They provide information on affordable housing units, housing vouchers or grants, and shelters. There are many shelters throughout our area for general populations or specific populations (women, men, children, domestic, etc) that we can make direct referrals to. We also have a housing assistance line via United Way that can assist with emergency housing, landlord/legal housing issues, and payment assistance for utilities/rent. Food resources in our area can be collected through DHS (food stamps) or there are many food pantries that we refer individuals and families to.
    Our intake process in terms of identifying barriers towards the base of Haslow’s Hierarchy of needs is pretty direct– we specifically ask the individual if they have stable housing, food, or other essentials needed to survive. We preface these direct questions with why we need the information to help them, and then deliver them with a warm and genuine tone. They often start out as closed-ended, yes or no statements, but an intake specialist can follow up with more open-ended questions if they need more explanation or feel there was some sort of hesitancy by the client when responding.

    1. knwilliams says:

      Displaying an open posture helps with promoting positive vibes. The client is likely to not feel intimidated and eventually let their guard down and share their truth. So often clients are scared and guarded when entering agencies that are there to assist them. Trust is the leading factor of why they will or won’t share their story to a counselor. Open-ended questions will almost force them to provide more information.

      1. dcampbell2 says:

        Yes! Maintaining an open and welcoming posture is a powerful way to establish trust and make clients feel more at ease. When clients sense that you genuinely want to help and create a safe and non-judgmental space, they are more likely to open up and share their concerns, which is crucial in providing effective assistance. Open-ended questions play a significant role in this process as well, as they encourage clients to share their thoughts and feelings more freely. Building trust and promoting open communication are essential in the counseling relationship.

    2. mcooper says:

      I have never heard about the Lehigh nor the Northampton County Housing Authority. After reading this I have become aware of the various resources and services they provide. We also have a food pantry at Community Action Agency of Delaware County. I believe that food pantries are essential in helping with things such as food droughts and households of low socioeconomic status.
      I think prefacing those direct questions with why you need the information offers the client some type of comfort and reassurance that you are only asking because you are helping them.

  26. rsteinbach says:

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

    1. To whom in your local area do you refer them for this assistance?
    Coming from the Community Action sector, I am very familiar with various resources in the area. Depending on their housing needs, I would refer to the following agencies: (Housing Needs) Mifflin Juniata Human Services; Housing Authority, Assistance Office, Center for Community Action; and Shelter Services. For food services, I would refer individuals to Mifflin Juniata Human Services, Calvary Bible Church, Grace Covenant Church, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard; WIC; Assistance Office and other local churches in the area. I would also refer them to this link as this is an online site that provides information on various human service needs: .

    2. What techniques have you found especially helpful to use in an intake interview to discover barriers that a customer might be facing?
    Previous to taking this course, I have found that actively listening to a participant and asking open ended questions aids in the overall ability to determine barriers. I find that people generally gravitate towards me and feel comfortable sharing their stories with me. I believe it is important to be kind, respectful and empathetic along with being knowledgeable about local resources and programs that may benefit consumers with barriers.
    3. Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you.
    My role has not been as one of case manager, but I have held various positions in the past that required interviewing, program implementation and management, surveying and community outreach. By using my natural abilities of empathy, active listening and genuineness, I have been able to build various relationships from community members, partners and elected officials to build that trust and professional relationships.

  27. rbechdel1 says:

    Chapter 14 Assignment- Rachel Rausher
    In Centre county we refer people who need help with housing and meals to:
    Centre Helps (814) 237-5855.
    Centre Helps is a local organization that helps to provide Basic need services as well as some Crisis Services as well for food and housing. If people are Veteran’s we can refer them to the Veterans’ Multicenter 1-(844) 226-0368. The number has a service menu that callers can select from to get to who will meet the needs they have.
    During an intake interview we have people fill out a Family Service Needs Assessment. The Assessment has a section on housing and another section on food in the home. I go over this form and the person’s answers with them to see if any referrals are necessary.
    Active Listening during the intake process can bring to light other barriers or needs that should be addressed. Along with the family Needs Assessment and Active Listening, being genuine when interviewing and completing the intake leads to more open dialogue and trust. If people feel you can genuinely help them they may be willing to accept services.

  28. knwilliams says:

    In my current role, I do not work directly with individuals. However, in my past experience, should someone need assistance with food and shelter, I was able to direct them to various resources in the community. The State Senators office provides a resource guide for the city and counties that they serve. I have always maintained a copy in my office. There is information for food, shelter, low-income housing, utilities, grants, and more.

    If I should find myself in a position where I would need to assist someone with barriers, I would start by using S.O.L.E.R skills which include squarely positioning my body directly toward the client while keeping an open relaxed posture that is inviting, leaning in toward the client with good eye contact. I would ask open-ended questions to determine the exact needs of the client. By displaying genuine empathy, I believe this will allow them to be open and that’s how we can best help them overcome and/or tackle the barriers.

  29. mross says:

    2-1-1 ( has been a very helpful resource in the South Central Pa Region for those who are seeking emergency housing. Our area has a number of Community Based Organizations that may be able to lend assistance for housing, such as Family Promise ( Family Promise has been helpful, it was only recently that I realized they are located in many states.

    In terms of housing and/or food resources – it has been extremely helpful to partner with the United Way organizations in our region. Family First is a United Way of Capitol Region Core Solution partner, as well as New Hope Ministries. New Hope Ministries has a number of locations throughout our region, many of which have an on-site food bank. Any individual in need of food is eligible to access the food bank, which contains a good bit of inventory (at no cost).

    It was stated in one comments within this thread – I find asking a series of open and closed ended questions helpful when having a conversation with one who may have barriers. Using closed ended questions may help lay a baseline of understanding and a foundation of the existing barrier, while open ended questions may help with the direction and flow of the conversation in order to uncover in more detail what steps need to be taken in order to provide a resource.

    Using any of the basic ingredients (as mentioned in Chapter 1) is a must when interacting with any participant, for each ingredient may help establish a level of comfort between you and the individual you are assisting. In all honestly, I find each of the ingredients a must: (Acceptance/Respect, Understanding/Empathy, Warmth, Genuineness).

    3. Describe 1-2 techniques you use that work well for you.

    1. ekerr says:

      Great suggestion of the United Way and I had forgotten to mention the Salvation Army and Red Cross. We also have a local agency called Agape that can help with many of the same needs as our local CAA. I too also feel that establishing “comfort” is key to relationship building and making a connection with the client so that they trust you and share their story.

  30. cmyers1 says:

    When a customer states they have needs such as with housing and meals, there are a few suggested referrals that I would make depending on the severity of the situation. Some individuals would need referrals to the Housing Authority and County Assistance Offices in the county they reside. Others would just need a referral to the Community Action Partnership agency for their county. Other resources could be found by using the 2-1-1 system.

    All of this information could be obtained by listening to the client and using a combination of open-ended and follow-up questions. Making the client feel relaxed and comfortable may get them to open up more. Utilizing the SOLER technique helps to do this. While completing the Participant Intake Form, many barriers will be discovered and can be discussed with the client.

  31. mcooper says:

    1. In the event that a customer came to me in need of housing assistance I would refer them to rapid rehousing if they were looking for rental assistance or assistance finding a new home. I would refer them to finally home if they are very behind on their rent and or need furniture. If the client is currently homeless, I would refer them to coordinated entry to try to get placed at one of the shelters or hotels. If the client needs help with food, we have a pantry that I would go into to grab the client some food for their family.
    2. I use body language, eye contact, and active listening skills to provide a safe and comfortable environment for clients to open about barriers they may be facing.
    3. The techniques that work well for me are reflecting to ensure to clients that I am listening and questioning. I ask client questions in a manner that will allow them the opportunity to open up about various things.

  32. agatts says:

    Housing: We refer them to Blueprints, the City Mission or our County’s Redevelopment Authority for their program and we also have a Housing Authority program in each of our Counties. Each client would be referred to the appropriate place depending on their need.
    Meals: We refer them to our local Food Banks, Faith Based organizations in each County and the City Mission. We also refer them to our DHS programs as well.

    While I don’t personally do intake, as a workforce area we use a barrier intake form but more importantly I think this is where our helping skills could and should come in to play. This would be an excellent place to simply have a conversation and build trust and communication to identify any barriers.

  33. donna.lockings says:

    For someone with housing needs I would refer to Community Action Agency of Delaware County. I would refer them to the satellite located closer to my office (the main location is quite a distance away for the area I serve). I would inform them of the hours of the office and insist the individual arrive early rather than later. As for meals, I like to find out a general area that the individual finds accessible and I provide a list of local food pantries. I often ask is the have access to transportation because there a food pantry that gives out more than just non-perishables but it would require transportation other than public transportation. I would also ask if they have applied for SNAP benefits? If not, I would have them reach out to CAADC’s SNAP coordinator.

    During intake I typically start the conversation off, just as a conversation. I find that when I ask them what brings them to the program they begin to relax and are willing to provide information. Finding a comfort zone is important. I don’t want the individual to be unwilling to participate in a program that they are being forced to participate in. I find it helpful if I allow them time to feel me out. Time to figure out whether or not they want my assistance. They really just want to know if I can even help them with anything.
    The find that when I am probing, I like to let it flow naturally without pen and paper. The don’t start the computer input until I am confident that I have gained a certain level of trust. Another technique I find helpful is to talk about things about me that relate to what they are saying. When I discover barriers while engaged in a conversation I don’t rush. I take time to address the barrier which often leads to the individual disclosing other barriers. I have found that many times they don’t realize that they even have barriers. Another technique I like to use is to give them the opportunity to ask me questions.

  34. anicolella says:

    As my other Southwest Corner classmates mentioned , we refer them to Blueprints, an agency that offers financial assistance to Washington County residents who are experiencing homelessness or are falling behind on their rent or utilities. We also can refer them to City Mission. Additionaly, we have a very active St. Vincent DePaul program in our area, along with a few other faith-based programs and local organizations that aid individuals.

    I also do not do client intake, and as mentioned, as a workforce area we use a barrier intake form. If I am meeting with a school or employer who expresses interest or need for information, I very often refer people to Southwest Training Services, and PA Careerlink where they do a great job of assessing peoples needs and getting them started. I also have been implementing many of the techniques that we have discussed and learned throughout this class, and found those to be helpful in discovering more about the individual/employer that I am meeting with.

  35. ekerr says:

    1. I would refer them to our local Community Action agency which would be different for us depending on the county in which they live. I would also refer them to 211. I would provide information on shelters and depending on the circumstance for the homelessness, the VA and Domestic Relations shelters. A referral would also be made to the County Assistance Office as they could possibly help with housing and SNAP. For meals I would provide the list of both food banks/pantries, local free meal locations and churches.
    2. We use a Family Needs assessment that is viewed at intake and first encounter. This assessment addresses areas such as educational levels, transportation need, housing and food security and barriers to employment such as criminal background. I would make sure use my helping skills, paying particular attention to attending as it is easy for individuals to not be fully present and pay attention to what the client is sharing. I would also make sure to present my body language appropriately, minimalize distractions and set the meeting room/desk in a manner that allows for easy connection and eye contact. I would sit squarely with an open posture and stay relaxed. Techniques that I use include asking open ended questions and allowing the customer to freely express themselves and open-up, thus allowing me to gain some of the information that I might need to assist them. I would listen for red flags and ask for clarification as sometimes it is from this request for clarification that you gain more details and information aiding one to determine if and what immediate assistance is needed.

  36. mmuncer says:

    When I am working with customers and they have needs such as housing I would then attempt to get additional details from them in order to better assist them. These details would include if they are having trouble finding housing, paying their rent or their utility bills. The resource I am most familiar with that has diverse forms of help is Central Susquehanna Opportunities. I would lean on my co-workers who are more familiar with these types of situations for recommendations. I also know that 211 is a resource that I have seen that offers assistance in these types of situations.

    A technique that has worked for me is SOLER. I originally learned about this during my counseling classes years ago and it has stuck with me. Just being very open and maintaining good eye contact I feel does make a customer feel more relaxed which enables the ability to form a better relationship.

  37. dcampbell2 says:

    I do not work with this population; however, in my local area, I would refer the customer seeking assistance with housing and meals to Catholic Charities. In an intake interview, it’s crucial to uncover any potential barriers the customer might face. Two effective techniques I find helpful are active listening and open-ended questioning. Active listening involves paying close attention to what the customer is saying, demonstrating empathy, and showing genuine interest in their situation. This approach encourages them to open up and share more about their challenges. Open-ended questions, on the other hand, allow customers to express themselves freely. Instead of asking yes-or-no questions, I inquire about their experiences, needs, and concerns.

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