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Elizabeth Standridge: Alright, this interview with TJ Martin is being conducted as a part of an exhibit called Home is not a House focusing on homelessness, housing and home that will be exhibited at the Louisville Free Public Library from October to December 2019. My name is Elizabeth Standridge and I am a student at he University of Louisville working on this exhibit. Today is July 24, 2019 and we are at TJ's office, temporary office, in the Elderserve building. So lets start with just your name and when and where you were born?

TJ: Okay my name is Tristam Martin but I go by TJ and I was born in Anderson, Indiana.

ES: Okay and when were you born?

TJ: Oh sorry, nine, oh [laughs] seven, twenty-one, seventy seven. July 21st -- So I just had a birthday Sunday, this past Sunday. Where'd I get nine from? I 1:00don't know


ES: That's okay. Well could you please give a brief personal background? Kind of your family life from when you were young until the present?

TJ: So I grew up in Anderson, Muncie Indiana. I went to grade school mainly in Muncie. When I got in high school I transferred to Culver Indiana which was a military academy. Not for discipline purposes but it was a college prep school there I graduated from Culver Military Academy with honors in theatre. Then from there I went to Atlanta, Georgia. Morris Brown College transferred from Morris Brown my second year to Georgia State University. Unfortunately, while I was at Georgia State University my mother had passed away so I didn't get to finish and 2:00I just accrued a lot of debt from the college, but I am considering going back to school. Well that's the quick short story unless you want to hear more information.

ES: No that was great. So could you please describe your role at St. John center?

TJ: So I am a housing case manager at St. John center. I was recently promoted to house case manager lead, basically what that is, is just a little step higher than a case manager. I do a little more paperwork and do a little more supervising with the other case managers. I review their case files quarterly I do a self care class. That's about it.


ES: okay, so how did you get into this role at St. John Center?

TJ: oh, wow [laughs] so as far as my background in working, the majority of my background has been working children with behavior issues. I worked while I was in Anderson as a community shelter for at risk youth. Then when I moved here from Atlanta, Georgia, I worked at a place called Spring Medals and that was also another facility that worked with underprivileged youth. Form there I transferred over to what is now Uspiritus, well actually it now is Centerstone, but at the time it was called Brookline and so I worked at Brookline doing the same thing. So a lot of my background is working with kids with behavior issues and after I left Uspiritus, I think that was 2015. So 2015-2016 I worked at 4:00JCYC. Working with the young men, young men and women that were in the detention center. So primarily most of my background has been in that. One day I got a phone call from a co worker that used to work at Brookline and asked if I still was at Brookline and told them that I was no longer working there. And they asked me would I consider doing case management. And I didn't think was qualified but I said yeah I would try it. And at the time at JCYC, I was just ready to leave there because its just, working with the kid there. I just felt 5:00like its all punitive, as far as black and white. You act up you get put away in the room, you get the door locked and that's it- no counseling, no therapy it wasn't anything like that. So then I didn't like that environment. So I took the opportunity to come to St. John Center and I took the interview and they hired me on and so ive been here now for three years.

ES: Awesome, so what do your day to day activities- work activities- look like?

TJ: Okay so they vary. As a case manager, I wont even say as a case manager, more so as a St. John Center case manager we dive into every aspect of our client's lives. So we are [laughs] sometimes we're their doctor, we're their 6:00lawyer, we're their caregiver, we're their chauffeur. I mean we really dive into their lives. So day to day can look differently. One day I could be taking a client to the hospital, another day I could be taking a client to check in to do detox. Another day, I could be taking a client to the grocery store, another day I could be taking a client to get his hair cut, getting back here to the office, doing case notes, making phone calls, talking to the landlords not to get our client evicted. Negotiating with landlords over price so we can get our clients into housing. So that there, that in a nutshell. If that makes any sense, buts that's what it is. Dealing with crisis situations, even though I may not feel like its a crisis situation, for my client in that moment it's a crisis for them. So being the therapist, being the counselor, were doing that on a day to day basis.


ES: Sounds like you wear a lot of different hats.

TJ: Yes, yes. And we do.

ES: So how many men do you regularly assist or see?

TJ: [7:15] Right now I currently have eighteen men that I see. Our case loads can go up to about 23. Man, but I feel like once you start getting up to that, I mean right now that's a tough caseload, but when you get more than that, going higher and higher, you're not able to spend the time that you really need with each individual.

ES: Yeah so how often do you see these men throughout the month?

TJ: Okay so HUD Rules we have to see them at least once a month.

ES: Okay

TJ: But after hearing all that I mentioned we do, there is times where you could see, if a guys in a crisis situation, you might see him four times a month or more than that, so but at the minimum we have to see them once a month.


ES: So I think you've already touched on this a little bit, but what are some of the challenges of being a case worker within this program?

TJ: One of the main challenges is when someone comes from being homeless to getting into housing, its hard because sometimes we want it more than they do. And that's really frustrating. We operate on a housing first model. What that means is, no matter what condition their in, no matter whats going on we believe that housing is first. So if you have an addiction we're not saying get off the addiction first before you get into housing, if you have any mental illness, we're not saying get on medication before you come into housing. The model is, is that you come into housing the way you are and then we start to build from 9:00there. The hard thing is, is that when they get into housing, if they don't want to get off the addiction, if they don't want the medication for the mental illness, if they don't want the life skills that we offer, then were stuck. So were trying to help them grow, but that's where the issue comes in because its hey I got my housing I don't have to do anything else. So therefore, that's when you have landlord issues, and that's when people allow others to come live in their apartments or drug abuse in the apartment. So you can imagine, whatever can happen, can happen. If someone doesn't want the resources or the skills to live a better life and change their habits.

ES: So who is the target group or ideal candidate for this program- or is there 10:00an ideal candidate for the program?

TJ: Yeah, yeah. First, men. We work with men, now there are some clients that have their girlfriends there or who get married, we understand that. There's clients that's young so as they get older they're going to want to have families, and children things like that. But the target group is generally men, but you have to have a disability, and you have to have been homeless. And that's mainly the requirements. Now you have chronic homeless and you've got homeless, see my grant you just have to have a disability and be homeless, but for other grants you have to have been homeless for like a whole year straight or I believes its four time sin three years, I could be saying that backwards, yeah four times in three years, you've been homeless. But the total amount of time adds up to like a year.

ES: Okay, so can you walk me through the process of entering the Permanent 11:00Supportive Housing Program for someone who is unfamiliar with it?

TJ: Yes, okay so the first thing, like I said, you have to homeless, so what you have is the Coalition, you have an outreach team and they go out and they assess the homeless population. Okay. So lets say they find an individual that's been homeless, that individual they find out has been homeless for awhile, they've been homeless for years, they've been homeless for the time that would qualify for the program. What they would do for that individual is called the common assessment. What the common assessment is, is a questionnaire that asks people about things in their life being homeless, basically when you're asking is how vulnerable they are on the streets. So let's say you have an older gentleman who is being taken advantage of on the streets, any sexual violence, has he been 12:00robbed, what type of severe mental issues hes been having, and so you get a score, and so the higher that score is tells you how vulnerable you are. Let's say you get a guy that's thirty years old and he doesn't really have any issues, first of all he's not even disabled, he doesn't have any disability. And he takes the common assessment, and they find out that really he's surviving on the streets, there's nothing really, he could get a job if he wanted to well he's going to score low on that test, he's going to get like an eight or a seven, even lower than that. But someone who I told you about the gentlemen before who had all these other issues, he may get a thirteen or a fourteen. And what happens is once he gets that thirteen or fourteen they're going to say hey once there is a spot that's open on someones caseload in the city, because were not the only ones that case managers in the city, whatever grant they can find to put you under, then they will put you under a case manager that will now be able 13:00to case manage them. Because they know they need the help. SO now they get what's called a voucher, but its really invisible, it's a voucher, and so from that moment that they get a voucher and are assigned to a case manager, then that case manager takes over from there. And so I don't know how far you want me to go with that, but once we get him assigned to the case manager, from there the case manager starts working on what they do. And different grants do different- do you want me to go into that?

ES: Yeah, certainly. [13:45]

TJ: I have, I believe one, of the best grants. So once they get on my case load, now my job is this, my job is to find them housing. I have 90 days to find them housing, if I don't find them housing in 90 days, then they can lose their 14:00voucher and they can start the process all over again, but I'm a find them housing before the 90 days is over with. If something happens to where they cannot find housing, we sometimes go an extension and extend it for like another month. Once we get them into housing and we get the, them into housing. 90 days then we get them into housing, we get them an apartment. Before they can move into the apartment, the apartment has to get an inspection done. Alright so, from the Coalition we have a lady named Megan that's who works with me on my grant. There's other people on other grants, that's who works with me on my grant. She'll do an inspection basically the inspection is testing the safety in the apartment, making sure everything is sound, making sure there's running water, and the electrical outlets work, the things that she does to nmake sure that the apartment is safe. Then we can move them in. the good thing about my grant is, we take care of everything when they first move in. WE buy them furniture, I mean we buy everything from microwave to dishrags, you know from 15:00trashcans to a queen sized bed. You know everything that they need to move into that apartment, we take care of that when they move in. Now, if they have income, due to their disability, don't everybody who has a disability necessarily get income, but if you do have income, you have to pay thirty percent of your income back to the organization, or back to the Coalition because the Coalition for the Homeless is the one that's going to pay the rent to the landlord, okay. So lets say our vouchers only pay for a max of $688 right now okay so that includes utilities as well. So when I talk to a landlord and I'm negotiating with them about our program, I tell them hey we have a voucher, first I tell them you know you don't want to say how much the voucher is because some landlords will try to just go straight for the gusto with the voucher, but eventually what you will say is this is what the voucher is worth, $688, so can 16:00you work with us on $688, all utilities included, well some landlords more so now are going to where they don't want to include all the utilities, so what we do with that is, okay since you can't do all utilities, can we negotiate the price for the apartment to be about $560, so that way that allows for the remainder to be paid for utilities. And then the Coalition will also pay that, or if the client has income, he will pay his utilities. Now, his income still will never go over 30%. So whatever, his income, whatever his utilities is, his rent is, it will still only add up to 30%. We're not going to take no more than 30% of their income.


ES: So you mentioned for your grant that everything is covered as far as furniture and all that, so if I'm understanding correctly, are other case managers working on different grants and their qualifications are different?

TJ: Some qualifications, I don't know which grants are for sure, there are grants that they'll just get you the housing, and you are basically left to your own to get your own furniture and all that. Like I said St. John's were really good at being able to pay for all their, and even bus passes, we even supply bus passes for all our, and if they have income, they pay $26 for their bus pass, opposed to the $52 that it cost. Yeah. So there are grants that they will only allow them to get the apartment with the voucher. So then you've got to find resources in the city, donations where you can furnish a personal apartment.


ES: So for St. John Center how often are there open vouchers for the Permanent Supportive Housing?

TJ: That's actually a good question. Considering that we have a high retention rate, we do have a high retention rate, so people really stay on the program. And understand this is permanent supportive housing, so once someone gets on the idea is for them to be permanent on the program, so and I don't have the statistics, they just gave the statistics not too long ago about how many has actually gone on to actually being awarded a move up voucher or sometimes you have clients who may be arrested. So if they're arrested, they're out of the program, if you're out of your apartment for more than 90 days then your off the 19:00program. So that's the downfall to that, so with that others being moved up to a higher program, or others that may have passed away, others that have been incarcerated, others that may have been evicted, and just let go off the program, so if anything that would probably and I may be stretching it, there may be five or six a year, out of 90 men that were able to have, and I think that's may be pushing it, it may not even be that much. So I have 18, so when my grant year ends, they may up it to where I can have 21 or 23, so to answer your 20:00question, its really kind of hard to tell you as far as that specific number.

ES: Right.

TJ: But we don't have a lot that fall off, but as soon as one falls off, the Coalition is going to call us and fill it right back. Sorry, I know that didn't really help too much.

ES: No, no that's okay. So ballpark then, how long are people often waiting to get a voucher? Do you have any idea of what the waitlist for the housing looks like?

TJ: and I'll say no. I wouldn't be privy to that information, not that I probably couldn't find it. Only because, there are so many case managers in the city, so I don't know who all is on the lit to be waiting, so I personally don't know that information.


ES: okay.

TJ: But the individual that if you ever want to talk to would be Carrie Addison, at the Coalition and he would be able to get you that information. He's actually the one who assigns the individuals to the case managers, so if you ever want to call him and talk to him he would be able to give you that information.

ES: okay, so you mentioned the move up vouchers?

TJ: Yes

ES: Could you explain what that is a little?

TJ: Yes, so what a move up voucher is, lets say I have a client, that the idea was for him to be permanent on the program. Let's say while he's on the program, he decides that he wanted to start working. So he starts working, not only stable now, but he feels like he's more stable with his medication, his mental illness has stabilized, he's paying his rent on time, really not- I'm going to his home visits and-we'll talk about home visits as well- and I'm going to his home visits and there is really not much going on, his apartment is clean, neat, 22:00and this guy isn't having any issues, this guy, there really is nothing I can do for him, because he's really self-reliant, self-motivated. So, we'll really start talking to him like hey, maybe its time for you to go on to a move up and allow someone else who needs this program to fill your spot. And so what we do is we get them connected with Section 8, and so therefore section 8 will take them if they qualify. And so once they qualify and once we get them into Section8, its like a smooth transition into Section 8, now Section 8 is basically the same thing, they pay 30% of their income, not to the Coalition, but to directly to the landlord and they no longer need case management, so they no longer have a case manager. So that's what that is in a nutshell.


ES: Okay, so does that often happen to give someone a move up voucher?

TJ: Often, yes I mean It does. But understand again, when we do say the most vulnerable, that's what we're going for first. So I wouldn't say it happens a lot, let me retract that, but it does happen, but I would say one person a year probably, just a guess on that.

ES: Okay, so lets talk a little bit about the support services that the program offers, you mentioned home visits and life skill classes, could you elaborate a little on what those are?

TJ: Alright so home visits, basically the case manager is going to go into the individuals apartment, basically were going to one, assess the client, assess the home, see what's going on, is the home clean, is there things that's out of 24:00order, is there things that throw up red flags, you know, does the clients have enough food in his apartment, is the client keeping the house clean, that's the housing part of it, you know just to see like I said how clean the apartment, just to see the wellbeing of the person is okay. And then we just we talk, we do things we set goals, we set six month goals, with those goals were setting housing goals, goals could be as simple as my goal is meet with my case manager once a month, my goal is to keep my house clean, my goal is to pay my rent on time and follow program rules and my lease. We do mental health, substance abuse goals, so if my client has any type of substance abuse, then goals for if 25:00they're trying to get off whatever substance they are. Mental health goals, you know, goals like continuing to take my medication, continuing to see my therapist, you know so we set those goals, goals that are obtainable. And we try to let them set those goals, sometimes we have to coerce a little bit, because those who have been on the program long enough know that we always do goals, so just put on there what you had last time, they know that, so we set goals during these home visits. So if someone is ready for a move up voucher you may have a home visit where you just talking about life, just talking about things, or politics, or whatever the case, is because that person is ready to really kind of be off the program, then there is other issues, you're talking to your clients about doctors appointments, do they have nay doctors appointments coming up, do they need to go grocery shopping, so basically what you're trying to talk 26:00the client about is the overall well being of the person- are you okay? You know you may have a client that at that moment is a crisis situation that at that moment says hey you know what I'm feeling suicidal right now, so at that moment we jump into resources, what do we need to do from there? But like I said we have to at least make sure that we're visiting them once a month and during crisis situations it may be four times a week, sometimes. And then from there the other resources we have, we have life skills, and we do them every Friday, from 10-11 and basically life skills is what that is, we talk about life skills, from just how to have appropriate relationships communicating all the way up to fire safety, self-care, how to make home care products if you only have food 27:00stamps, what natural remedies you can use if you don't have the cash. From, job employment, to everything you can think of as far as life skills we do it. Just yesterday we went to the Bats game. We have fieldtrips, we do fishing, we do, we have Thanksgiving dinner, where during Thanksgiving we have all the guys come and we let them bring some of their dishes, and Humana is real great for coming in and they supply the turkeys and yeah so everything you can think of is life skills and we explain to the guys everybody needs life skills, just cause we're case managers, we need life skills, some people are better in other areas, and so that's why we encourage the guys, hey if you have something you want to teach 28:00or show us, feel free to do it. So that is what that is about.

ES: yeah, awesome, so you mentioned like Thanksgiving dinner, and going to the baseball game- so would it be fair to say that there is also a social aspect to the life skills classes as well?

TJ: oh, yeah yeah most definitely. And that's what we try to encourage. We try to encourage that, because you know going from homelessness to being integrated back into you know back into just trying to live a normal life, the homeless life sometimes can be isolated. So we try to integrate that back into their life. So we try to integrate that back into their life so that they can go and just you know feel normal. So yes

ES: Lets see, so moving on to some bigger picture questions, lets see. How would you define success for men in the program, or how would you define success for 29:00the program?

TJ: Success for men in the program. That's like a blanket statement, because everyone moves at their own pace. And so, this person right here may take six years, because its permanent supportive housing, so this person may take six years from this addiction to decide, I really don't want this addiction anymore, so success looks different for different people. So that's still a hard question. I define success when an individual is willing to change. In any category, whether it be, I haven't been working and I want to work, I worked two 30:00weeks and then I quit. That still is a success, because you went years without working at all, so that is a success, now to them they may think that they have failed, but that's why you allow them to know hey look where you came from. So that's a success, success may be I always allow people to take advantage of me, I always allow people to stay in my apartment, I always allow people to run over me, and so this time for a whole month, I haven't had anybody in my apartment- that's success. Success may be I don't like talking to anybody, I want to seclude myself, I don't want to have anything to do with anybody. And then well, I haven't came to a life skills group for the six months that I've been here and 31:00then this month for one day for that one hour and I show up- that's success. So it just depends on the individual. What success is, success is whatever stronghold or barrier you're willing to face at that moment. And you do it, then I will say that's what success is.

ES: awesome

TJ: and what success is for the program is to help those individuals to break down those walls and to break down those barriers and to meet those milestones, so that's what St. John center is about. And you do know that St. John Center is twofold. St. John Center is an actual day shelter as well. So we are a day shelter. And so you have the day shelter portion of it and then you have the case management portion of it.

ES: so some bigger picture questions then, as far as community goes, so in the Louisville community do you see any gaps in the services for people experiencing 32:00homelessness or people at risk to experience homelessness?

TJ: [32:17] There are a lot of gaps, because no matter what there, we still need resources, we still need resources, I often get phone calls, there is place called La Casita, and they service the Spanish community, but a lot of case managers don't speak Spanish, and when you have women with children its hard to get them placed, because we just don't have the resources. Lets say that I'm homeless, but all I need is, but I'm not vulnerable to the point where I can get a housing voucher, so I'm stuck. Because you want me to get a job, but I don't 33:00have any money to get the clothes to get the job, I don't have any transportation to get to the job, but I'm homeless, I need help. I get out of jail, and I'm just dropped off here and I don't have an ID, I don't have a social security card, I don't have a birth certificate, where od I go to get my birth certificate? You know, so you have, you have all these, obstacles in your way. So you go to this place that tells you, you need to go here, so you spend all day walking, to get here and you find out no this is not what we do here so you go there and you keep you get miscommunication and now you frustrated you angry, you hungry. You don't have any money to eat, now one thing I will say about Louisville, if you are hungry and you don't eat, its because you don't want to eat, because down town there is always a place to eat, that is one thing 34:00that I do know about Louisville, you are going to eat. Now the issue is this: what if you live way out? And you trying to get into the city? And that's the hard part, so just to let you know if you see people flying signs downtown talking about they're hungry, then they're not trying to eat. Unless that individual just didn't get the memo from all the other homeless people on where to eat, then other than that there is some place to eat downtown. Those are the gaps, and you often hear people who get mad, because you hear about people getting apartments, and so they think well I'll come to Louisville, I'll get me an apartment, and they don't realize the qualifications there are to get an apartment and then when you see a person, that you know that they have had people in their apartment, you know that they are on drugs, you know that they 35:00are not complying with their housing rules, but yet they get to keep their housing, and yet, I'm a person that just needs a fair chance, and I see that I become bitter, I became angry. Why is it that I can't get help but this person over here, and so those are gaps as well, if that makes any sense.

ES: Yeah definitely. So I did want to ask, like you mentioned all of the food services that are available in Louisville and kind of that homeless people by mouth where they might access services like that, and I've heard of this book called Street Tips, that gives information on the services that people can access

TJ: Yes

ES: Do you often see that circulating? Do you think that gets much use?


TJ: Oh that book yes, because in that book it has where to get food, where to clothes, where to get shelter, emergency numbers and contacts in it, so that is a great resource for the homeless, especially if you come here and you don't know anything about anything then that's a great book to circulate and pass around. And what I often tell people that are homeless, when you had the interview with the other couple, Charlie and Anita, and they tell you, you just watch where everybody else is going, you just watch them and see, a lot of times they just share their information, on where to go, where to get clothes, but the problem is if I'm going here to get food or if I'm going here to get this or I'm going here to get clothes, guess what, everybody is going to get clothes. So what's going to happen? Its going to be depleted. You need more donations. Where do I go if I do get an apartment? I don't have any furniture? Well if I'm telling everybody to go to the same place, well then it gets depleted, so then we need more resources as far as getting, getting furniture. One of the main resources I've seen that has not been implemented as well, is what happens if I 37:00have a vehicle but I just don't have money to get to work? So I just need gas, but can I get a gas card. Now I know that you don't readily want to give out money, we try not to do that at all, but you know gas cards ,or Kroger cards, I know some cards you can be specific about what they can get, you know you can not get liquor with this, or you cant you know. Yeah so you have that or I don't have the money to buy a bus ticket, so where can I get a bus pass? So those are some of the resources that can be elevated.

ES: Yeah so, another community question, recently they have made a change in Louisville where they are requiring 21 day notice to clear encampments and so I 38:00was kind of wondering what your thoughts were on that? And kind of clearing encampments at all what you thought about that?

TJ: Alright well that really is out of my expertise, and I'm going to tell you the person that you should definitely talk to is Tiny Heron and she used to be a case manager with St. John and now she does all the outreach. And she's the one I've mentioned to you before, who had done Forgotten Louisville, and her outreach team and I can give you all the information, but as far as what I know is that the 21 day notice is to give those who are in the camps 21 days to relocate to know that they are going to have to move their belongings, be cause a lot of times they are on city property, or they are in no trespassing areas, I 39:00feel like that is a good thing to let them know because this is all that they have. You have your backpack with your deceased parents pictures in that backpack, you have your birth certificate in that backpack, you have your social security card in that backpack, you have you know a stuffed animal that came from your daughter that you don't get to see, and all the sudden we go in and just clear all that out and just throw all that away. Stuff that you could never get back, priceless things that you could never get back. So yes, you need something in place, yeah I know it may be trespassing, yeah I know you are somewhere that you shouldn't be, yeah I know its still city property, but people are still people, you know, but people are still valuable regardless, people have things that are sentimental to them. So yes, you do that, you let them know, hey, were going to have to move this out, so gather up your belongings, so but the flip side of that is its city property, and yeah this is still a 40:00trespassing area, and so yeah you still have to adhere to the laws and the rules and things such as that of the city. So it just has to be balanced. The problem is just like when they tear down these apartments, gentrification, you move people out from that area, and then build up that area, and then they can never come back. So what do you do with those people? That's the issue. [40:38] Where do we send them to? What resources do we have for them? You know, so that's like I said, it has to be a balance. So when you do wipe out a camp or an area where you do have a substantial amount of homeless people where do they go, where do they scatter out to? Because what's going to happen is the outreach that's in 41:00the coc that's Tiny, they're still going to go find those people to make sure that they're still okay because they're still part of this city, you know. And I don't mean to be so vague, but like I said they will have more answers to that than I do, because being here only three years, there is a lot of stuff that I've learned but there is still a whole lot of stuff that I don't understand, don't know and I'm learning. Because the main part of being a case manager is learning resources, you know and advocating and that's the whole gist if you could add all of that together. Finding resources and advocating for your clients.

ES: Yeah so my final question for you is what is people's reaction when you tell them your line of work, when you're a case manager?


TJ: Everybody says oh that's good work, oh you're doing a good job you're doing good work, I mean that's what people say I don't think they understand the gist of it. Just like the other day my son was like man I could do your job you don't do anything you just sit in an office all day. I'm like oh really? Do I that's all I do? And so I know that people really don't understand unless you work in this field you don't understand the pressures of a case manager. I will say a case manager who cares about their job. There is a difference. If you a case manager that you can just do your job you don't have any issues you just come in clock in, clock out you just take care of your people you know you make your phone calls and you don't dive into their lives, to me that's a horrible case manager and I feel like that type of case manager is doing a disservice to their 43:00clients. Because not everyone is going to tell you what you need. First of all you've got to build trust, because not everyone is going to tell you what's going on with them for real. But when you establish that trust and you ask questions allow them to be able to talk and get things out and be there for them, that's when you will feel the pressure of being a case manager. You're going to get burnt out. I mean this field you get burnt out don't get me wrong and that's why you have to take vacations, you have to do self-care you have to do those things, because if not you'll become bitter. You know because you keep seeing the same thing over and over again, you'll be ready to just back up but when you see even though you doing everything over and over again and you see that one person who has met that milestone, or you see that one person who says you know I really appreciate you being my case manager or that one person who 44:00puts you down as a contact because they know that they don't have anybody else, than any issues that you have with anybody else that kind of subsides and that takes over, you know. And you have to make sure you don't become desensitized. You know I was listening to a Christian message and it was a guy and he was actually talking about burn out and compassion fatigue and he was like you know lets say a person who is a mortician he sees dead bodies day after day after day after day and so he doesn't know that person, he doesn't have a relationship with that person whose on that cooling board none of that is going on so he become desensitized, so you know when he's talking to his friend even though he is talking to his friend in the back of his mind he is talking to a potential client, you know so in the back of his mind, its like I don't see you as you know the person anymore because I'm so caught up and so in tune with my job. You 45:00know and that's why you know doctors have to be taught bedside manners because its easy to be like okay lets go on to the next. Matter of fact we had a phone call from one of our clients that passed away and even though we felt for our client that had passed away, when the person that called to say that he had passed away, he didn't even say he had passed away. He said he had expired at such and such time. You know and that just lets you know how desensitized you've become when people become expiration dates as opposed to a person that had a life and they passed away and I'm sorry to inform you they passed away, but no they expired. So I hope that makes sense and I'm not just rambling.

ES: No certainly, I think it did. So I don't really have any further questions for you is there anything else that you would like to talk about that we haven't already discussed.


TJ: We talked about the case management, what I do, we talked about the clients as far as, no actually I just feel like as a case manager you have to be involved in their live and I try to treat everybody with respect and understand that even though I may find that their crisis is miniscule, to them at that moment its not. And so you always have to keep that in perspective. When you're dealing with mental illness and substance abuse, I didn't have nay substance abuse, I didn't ever have, I wasn't ever diagnosed with mental illness so to 47:00learn from people and to hear what they have to say and how it affects them and try to keep that in the back of my mind or not even necessarily in the back of my mind but keep it sometimes to the forefront to let me know hey this person is not like you, people are different and to just keep that. Because its easy for me to give my suggestions and just say this is what you should be doing, because you know man if you would just do this, because you have it all planned out as a case manager, but they don't hear that, its not that easy for them. But like I said success is this area right here I do get and I'm successful in that area, and just remind them, because people need encouragement, people need to know that their failures are not permanent, people need to know not to make permanent decisions on temporary situations. And that's what I try to do, my goal as a case manager is to restore hope and to build up my clients and to let them know its not the end and as long as you have breath in your body something can change. So I guess that's all I have to say.

ES: I'm going to stop recording now