We are thrilled to welcome Lauren Quesenberry, who joined Calvary’s community as a full-time case manager earlier this month. Lauren has experience in case management and counseling, and has worked with many different populations, including women who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, mental illness and chemical dependency. Lauren is a Qualified Mental Health Professional and has a master’s degree in women’s studies that included research in clinical psychology. Get to know Lauren a little better and join us in welcomingher to Calvary!
How did you hear about Calvary and what motivated you to apply for the job?
Calvary came highly recommended to me through a close mentor and friend. I decided to apply knowing very little, but after my first interview turned into a two-hour long conversation, I found myself in love with this organization and knew it was the right fit.
What have you enjoyed most about your work so far?
I can confidently say that working with the women here is my greatest enjoyment. I will always be the kind of person who prefers working with people over sitting behind a computer. I think the philosophy of Calvary is spot on – “a safe, caring place for tonight; support, hope and change for tomorrow.” I believe that safety is a human right and from that place can come hope and change.
What do you see as the biggest benefit of the transitional housing model for women who are homeless?
I would have to say that I find transitional housing to be vital in reaching women who are homeless because of the “safety” factor. Only when basic needs are met and a feeling of safety is achieved can a woman begin addressing other medical, educational and employment needs. Then, she can hopefully tap into a place of healing and creativity.
Being a case manager can be tough…what energizes you to do your work?
Being a case manager can be tough sometimes, because you tend to experience the raw side of everyone and everything that’s going on, both good and bad. To me, that’s honestly the best part – being with someone through their pain while rejoicing with them in their success. I am happy to say that after five years in this field I’m beginning to strike a balance between work and play.
Share one positive story that you’ve heard from a resident since starting.
There’s already been so many – I don’t know where to start! One theme that comes up in case management is women understanding and committing to taking time to rest and gradually put the pieces back together. I am working with a client right now who told me last week, “Wow, Lauren, I just realized I’ve spent my entire life caring for everyone else but myself.” She agreed to talking with our in-house therapist, reading a few recommended books and trying to practice some self-care while getting her feet on the ground.
Share a few fun facts about yourself!
I love to dance, specifically Latin dances such as salsa and bachata. I also love live music, international travel, yoga, gluten-free baking and playing with my crazy cat, Samson.