At Project Hope Alliance, we say that our case managers are the heart of our organization. Without them we could not give our families the help they need. Our staff has been growing, and now we have five incredible ladies working full-time to make sure our families are taken care of. Ana, Chrissie, Rocio, Sam, and our newest teammate, Peggy, are working hard every day to give hope to the families we serve. So what is it that they do exactly?
I spent time with Ana to see what a week at Project Hope Alliance is like for her, and it is easy to say that no two days are the same for our case managers. Ana has a caseload of 11 active families in the Family Stability Program and 12 active families in the Education Program. The clients we serve are unique and all have different needs, so it is up to Ana to understand what those needs are and how to best meet them. Whether it be a security deposit for a new apartment, a bag of groceries, a utility bill, or a payment for their car registration, Ana contacts her clients regularly to make sure they have the necessities and to tell them about new opportunities.
Our case managers are in the office most days and are just a phone call away for our clients, but there are also times when our case managers step out into the field. If a family is need of assistance and cannot visit the office, Ana makes appointments to meet them wherever they are. She packs grocery bags from our food pantry for them and carries hygiene kits in her car so that they are always on hand. While out in the field, Ana will sometimes do home inspections. These checks are completed within the first month the family moves-in to their new home. The checklist verifies that all rooms and areas of the apartment or home are safe for the families. Any problems that Ana sees are documented with all of the details. Ana is constantly keeping up with the progress of her families. She receives updates from them, such as their financial situation, the children's progress in school, and the emotional state of the family.
With news from the families, Ana meets with the rest of the team to discuss what they can do. There is constant communication between case managers about programs and opportunities to help the families as best as we can. Our case managers also meet with different agencies and organizations throughout Orange County. These collaborations help gain resources to better assist our current clients as well as new individuals in crisis.
The families we serve have welcomed our case managers into their lives. They share special moments when things are looking up, but there are also days when things are tough. No matter how hard it gets for families, they know there is hope because incredible people like Ana are on our team.