A Day in the Life of a Transitions Specialist

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Maria, transitions specialist, talks about her role: 

Describe your role

My role at FOF works with employment and mental health. I work to connect staff and clients with mental health resources. I assist clients in breaking down barriers that make finding and maintaining employment difficult. I help with resume writing, job searching, and interview skills. I also run our Safe Workplace Initiative program. I can go into businesses in the community and teach employers how to better support their staff who may be dealing with homelessness or domestic violence.  

What let you to becoming a Transitions specialist? 

I worked as a housing support specialist in Waverly for about a year. I was really excited when the Transition Specialist position opened up. I was really excited because this position allows me to work with clients but also spend time in the community.  

How do you start each day? 

Each day I start by going through my calendar and setting up a plan for the day. I am really organized, so I like taking 5-10 minutes in the morning to see what I all need to get done.  

How many individuals do you talk to daily? Are those both clients and businesses? 

I maintain a caseload of about 5 clients and actively work to make connections in the community. I also work really closely with the housing support specialists at FOF. Co-advocating with them to help clients find employment is really exciting.  

What sort of things do you help clients with? 

I can assist in resume writing, cover letter writing, mock interviews, and really anything that could help with employment. I can help create Indeed accounts, apply for jobs, and talk with employers. When I present to local employers, I talk about what domestic violence looks like, how it affects the workplace, and what employers and managers can do to safely help their employees. 

 What types of community resources do you connect clients with to help support their journey? 

I spend a lot of time in contact with local mental health professionals, employers, and other social service companies.  

Does work follow you home?  

While I work really hard to maintain a good work life balance, it does occasionally follow me home. I get to see so many inspiring stories every day. It’s hard not to bring some of that emotion home with me.  

How do you unwind? 

I have a dog that assists with a lot of self-care. I love going on walks with her or cuddling on the couch. I also make a point to hang out with friends and family, watch TV, and take time for myself.