Non-Profit Organization: Homeless Not Hopeless
Position: Summer Intern
Location: Hyannis, MA
While looking for your internship, what services did you use at the Center for Career Development?
During my internship search process I used the Crusader Connections website to find my internship, and then attended the Center’s drop-in hours to meet with career counselors.
Are you involved in any of the COES clubs and/or programs? If yes, how did they help prepare you for your internship?
I attended the Women in Business Conference, which enabled me to think about what I wanted to do in the future.
What skills did you gain from your internship experience and how have they added to your professionalism?
During my internship I was able to gain a wide variety of experiences, listed below are just some of them.
- Assist in case management (Applying for Affordable/Section 8 Housing, EAEDC/Food Stamps, Transitional Housing Units, SSDI, SSI, etc.
- Maintain an allotted budgets for the corporation.
- Interview potential residents for transitional houses.
- Assess and evaluate potential for success based on factors such as addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, domestic violence, etc.
- Attend housing and Twelve-step functions.
- Maintain donor database and follow up with donors.
- Create newsletters, fundraising, and philanthropy projects.
- Establish relationships with human service agencies in and around the community and maintain corporate records, community fees, and statistics.
- Advocate for individuals who do not have the means to do so themselves.
- Accumulate a plethora of data and indescribable feelings and emotions towards our homeless population on Cape Cod and the Islands.
- Effectively adapt my communication skills and methods to a appeal to different groups of people.
- Accumulate statistical data on those who have entered and left any of the four transitional houses of HnH.
- Assist in grant writing and grant works.
- Research information regarding medications, mental illnesses, etc.
How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?
This experience further reiterated my future career goals/plans. Working with the HNH staff was one of the best experiences of my life, because of their commitment to make an impact. I believe that my experience at HNH was most definitely better than I had ever imagined. The overall mission of this organization works with homeless and formerly homeless population. This unique service acknowledges two populations and creates an atmosphere of hope and comfort. Being able to tell a resident that you have once been in their position is comforting and a method that I think works powerfully for the homeless on Cape Cod. I aspire to help those suffering from substance abuse issues, possibly even on Cape Cod.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to the future intern?
I would tell the future intern to go into this experience with an open mind and, most importantly, with an open heart. The individuals you will be working with and for are those who have gone through things you might not even be able to imagine. I have had experience in the addiction field which, helped me a lot during this internship. However, I do not think it is completely necessary that you need prior experience with this population to do great things for them. As long as you work to eliminate your own (unintentional and societally produced/inflicted) stigma towards those with mental illness, homeless, and substance abuse issues, you will learn more than I can put into words. Be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The individuals you work with will become your family. They will mean more to you than you would ever have thought. You will be changed for the better, I can promise you that. As they say in AA, take things one day at a time. We’re all in this together.
Overall, what was your most exciting experience at your internship?
There isn’t one experience at HNH that I can say was most exciting. Every day at HNH was a blessing. At the end of 12 weeks, to be able to have a client, who has become a family member to you, tell you that she couldn’t have stayed sober for a day without you, is an indescribable feeling. Along with the excitement of client’s success, I was able to have a piece that I wrote on Vivitrol, a form of medication for those with substance abuse issues, published in the Cape Cod Times. It is true; I helped individuals find hope this summer. But not only did my work help them, they helped me. They shaped my future just as much as I shaped theirs. And for that, I am forever grateful.