05 May Voices from our Community: COVID-19, Through a Case Manager’s Eyes
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Men in Blue have been bravely providing enhanced sanitation services on the streets of New York City. Although less visible, there are other heroes working just as hard, behind the scenes, to support them and their efforts.
When our trainees return from the field, they meet with devoted Case Managers at our residences. Like the Men in Blue, these professionals are heroically putting the best interests of others first, extending life-changing and transformative services to the most vulnerable.
Janae is one such hero. As the mother of an eleven-year-old, she thinks about her daughter’s health every morning when she leaves home for work as a Ready, Willing & Able Case Manager. But she couldn’t dream of not being there for the men.
“Sometimes I feel like I have a whole bunch of sons,” she said. “I see them as my children and I know they are worried about the situation right now and about taking care of their daily issues. They come to me and ask, ‘Are you going to be here all day? Can I come see you?’ I’m glad I’m able to help, because they depend on me.”
Janae’s tireless work keeps the Men in Blue focused on addressing obstacles that existed before COVID-19, and helps them cope with new anxieties caused by it. She encourages them to pursue occupational licenses, maintain their sobriety, update resumes, and resolve outstanding child support payments and warrants, among other issues. In Janae’s words, she’s a “sounding board—whatever they need, I’m here to listen and I’m here to help.”
Janae’s daughter thinks of her mom as a hero. “The other day as I left for work, she said, ‘Mom, just be safe. I’m really happy that you’re able to help someone besides me.’ I was smiling ear to ear.”
To Janae and all of our frontline heroes, we thank you.