Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Warm Wishes from Denver- Kayley Law

Warm Wishes from Denver!

Hi, my name is Kayley Law.  I am a senior Social Work major at Wartburg College with an Intercultural Studies minor.  Wartburg has so many great experiences to offer; Wartburg West is one of many excellent opportunities to expand your education to other areas of the world.

I have always loved traveling so coming to Wartburg West came by me honestly.  The Wartburg West students have been out here for about 10 weeks so far.  In those 10 weeks I have had so many great opportunities in Colorado.  Most of my time in Denver is spent at my internship site.  I work at Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH).  CCH is the largest agency in the state assisting the homeless.  CCH’s efforts to provide comprehensive services to their clients set CCH apart from other housing assistance agencies. 

CCH is a housing first model, meaning they believe in obtaining housing for clients before working on anything else.  Studies have shown with stable housing drug usage drops by 15% without any other inventions.  For this reason, CCH aims to help all homeless individuals in Colorado regardless of age, race, religion, legal standing, immigrant status, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical health state, or marital status.  Some agencies simply are too small or lack the funding to be able to help certain clients.  Because of how large CCH is (over 500 employees and 20 different programs), it is very rare for clients to be turned away or denied services at the Coalition, exceptions being extreme violent behavior towards staff.

CCH is proud to fund and employ the Stout Street Clinic.  The Stout Street Clinic is a full service clinic providing care to any and all homeless or at-risk individuals.  Primary care, pediatric care, eye care, dental services, psychiatric care, and substance abuse treatment are all available at the clinic.  In addition, CCH provides case management and therapy to clients who have recently obtained housing to help transition from life on the street to life with stable housing. 

At CCH, I work with families that have recently acquired permanent housing as a case manager.  I help connect clients with local resources to meet the client’s goals.  Some of the tasks I do weekly include: transporting clients to food banks, having direct contact with clients to work on goals the clients have set, and working with local resources to continue positive connections.  In addition, I hold a children’s after-school group on Mondays called Marvelous Mondays!  At Marvelous Mondays all children are welcome to participate in supervised crafts, games, and cooking projects.  This group helps to build a sense of community among the clients and increases communication skills. 

While I am not at my placement I have been able to get out and explore the wonderful city of Denver!  Denver has so much to offer on many accounts.  There are tons of great restaurants, shops and outdoor activities to participate in.  I have tried to experience as much of Denver as I can.  Thus far I have been able to go dog sledding, tour the Celestial Seasonings factory, have High Tea at the Brown Palace, see a couple shows at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and attend the Symphony!  I haven’t had a chance to go skiing yet, but I will be sure to do that at least once before leaving. 

I have immensely enjoyed my time at Wartburg West.  I am very thankful I had the opportunity to come out to Colorado and experience the multitude of things it has to offer.  I hope everyone is doing well in Iowa!  We are sending warm wishes from Denver!  See you in April!

Kayley Law

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