In many communities, women being homeless is an increasing problem. Although this topic is not talked about as much as it should be, it is a very relevant problem in our society. In the hours I have spent working at Gryphon Place, I have realized how many women literally have nowhere to live. As I have learned in my GWS classes, there are many reasons why women are homeless. These include: domestic violence, low-paying jobs, poverty, unemployment, and lack of needed resources. Daily, we have women call Gryphon Place needing somewhere to stay because she is homeless. Thankfully, Kalamazoo County has a large amount of resources for women to get some help finding a place to stay. There are many shelters in our community that provide women with shelter, food, and resources to get back on their feet. Although this issue is not discussed in great detail, it is important to know that women have somewhere to go in times of need. Being a victim of domestic violence or unemployment is tough enough on anyone, especially if they do not have anywhere safe to stay.
For my internship, I am working Monday and Wednesdays mornings from 10am-1pm at Gryphon Place. My current position is in the phone room, which includes 10 or so computers, which have programs with resources to help people in the community. Typical calls from 211 include electric payment assistance, rental payment assistance, food pantries, and many other assistance programs around town. People call the 211 line when they need financial or mental help. These lines are open 24/7, so people can call at any time of the day. Along with the 211 line, I am also answering Lifeline calls, which is the suicide hotline. These calls come from people who are contemplating suicide, so I had to do many hours of training to be able to assist these callers. Overall, these lines are very important for people in the community and Gryphon Place receives hundreds of these calls per day.
Hello! My name is Katie Johnson and I am a senior at WMU. I am studying behavioral sciences, family life education, and gender & women’s studies. This semester, I am doing an internship at Gryphon Place. I am working in a phone room, where I answer calls from people around the state. After doing almost 50 hours of training, I am now able to qualified to answer Lifeline (suicide hotline) calls, Community Mental Health lines, and 211 referral calls to help the people in our community!
Welcome to Katie Johnson, who is doing her internship this semester and will be our first blogger for the department’s new intern blog.