Ned is an Intensive Case Manager at our Journey to Social Inclusion program (J2SI). We talked with him about the favourite parts of his job, the special moments he experiences with clients and why no two days are ever the same.
In my role, I support individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness in finding and maintaining permanent housing.
J2SI provides ‘intensive case management’, meaning we have small caseloads and work with people for three years. The individuals we support have long histories of being evicted, disbarred, ignored or had service refused. We undertake assertive outreach to continually engage and assist them.
While our overall goal is to establish and maintain suitable housing, we have a ‘housing first’ approach. This means after housing has been found, we continue to support participants with their goals outside of housing, and we view this holistic support as vital to a successful tenancy.
There is no standard ‘day-to-day’ in J2SI, which is what I like about it! Supporting service users in whatever they’re going through or require support with takes up the majority of our time.
This can range from support for legal appointments and days in court, to helping people complete a NDIS application – while the occasional day can be spent completing admin work in the office. No two days are ever the same.
Our dynamic working conditions mean you’re never bored at J2SI! Aside from that, the long-term case management we provide allows us case managers to build strong, respectful and trustworthy relationships with the service users.
The nature of the role allows you to ride all the highs and lows with an individual, if that’s what they want – and this is something that is pretty special to me. Everyone works differently though, and we’re all allowed a lot of freedom by our managers to engage our service users in the way we consider most suitable.
My favourite memory in this role was showing one of my participants his permanent housing, which was a new apartment complex in Coburg that was a mix of private and community housing. The first time we met was in a hospital, and over the next 12 months he was in between rooming houses, a hostel, various hospital stays and transitional accommodations.
He couldn’t believe what he was moving into and let out a “wowwww” every time we moved through the complex, into the elevator and into his newly built unit. He had been through so much in the last few years, so to be able to see him get to that point of having safe, secure and suitable housing was such an incredible moment and something I think about a lot!
Stay up to date with our monthly newsletter, Heartbeat