First-Year Internship

So Columbia School of Social Work has it set up where we have classes two days a week and field practice (aka an internship) three days each week. And this Monday it [meaning my internship] began. Dun dun dun!

My Internship is at a transitional homeless shelter for single adults. Everyone is guaranteed shelter in NY. So anyone who is homeless starts out at an assessment shelter where they are then referred to shelters depending on their employment, drug, mental, etc status. Our shelter is a shelter where individuals who either are employed or are employable come—making its primary focus on obtaining housing. There are people of all ages and from all backgrounds. The facility takes a holistic approach, thus it also provides services such as drug treatment, mental health care, comprehensive medical services, vocational services, and supportive communities and groups. My role as an intern is to meet with clients one-on-one and work with them to get housing, help them determine and apply for the entitlements they’re eligible for, and then aid them to get help in other areas of need. Eventually I will also run a group—though I’m not sure the focus. Enough explanation…

Day 1:
So I woke up early…as in 6:00am early. I just couldn’t sleep in... Then I left at 7:45 (just to be safe and to make sure I had the subway down). I got off the subway around 8:30 leaving 30 minutes to walk half a block; I walked very slowly… so at 9:00am I arrived. After meeting with my supervisor, I got to read through a thick binder titled Policy and Procedures. Yay for rules! So I read, and read kind of a lot. (Typical first day stuff.) Come 2:30pm, however, another girl called me up and said she was to take me with her on an SRO housing interview with one of her clients. So I went. (Clients have to interview for housing in order to determine what kind of support they need and what kind of "baggage"—as she put it—they’ll be bringing with them.)

It was quite the adventure—the three of us rode the train for a good hour-ish up to the center of the Bronx. It is incredible to see the differences from one neighborhood to the next.

The interview went superbly though! I just listened, but everyone was so positive and supportive. It was a really neat experience.

A good day. Learned lots. Learned that I need to learn lots more… But I’m really liking it!


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