Agency News | Empathetic Engagement and Teamwork Secured Placement for Client and His Service Dog
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Empathetic Engagement and Teamwork Secured Placement for Client and His Service Dog Bookmark

Empathetic Engagement and Teamwork Secured Placement for Client and His Service Dog

The phone rang at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night at the Crisis Line. Isabella Rowe, a fairly new member of the Crisis Line team, answered the call. The caller shared he was having a really rough time getting through a terrible divorce and was currently homeless. He was feeling desperate and so hopeless that he had thoughts of dying by walking in to traffic earlier that day. Many of these feelings were due to the love he felt for Sanaa, his service dog of 7 years, who helped him due to a seizure disorder. The caller had a really hard time finding a spot in a shelter since most won't take Sanaa. The caller reported feeling increasingly worried about caring for her properly on the street.

Isabella used all her best crisis line skills of empathetic engagement, thorough assessment and knowledge of agency resources to get the ball rolling for this caller. Later, the caller stated that Isabella’s patient and caring voice was a turning point for him on this terrible day, and that he had forgotten people cared and were willing to listen and help.

Isabella staffed the call with her supervisor and they made a referral to MCOT. Jennifer Holman and Chelsea Pumala responded to the scene quickly and were able to continue the active and encouraging engagement. The client called them “his angels.” While Jennifer and Chelsea were on scene supporting the client, behind the scenes MCOT CTL Andrea Addie, MCOT Program Manager Sarah Strang and CPEP Program Director Evelyn Locklin reviewed the agency’s service dog policy to make sure everything that was needed was in place to effectively serve this client.

Jennifer and Chelsea consulted with Jail Diversion and it was determined accessing this program would be the next step for the client that evening. They arrived at Jail Diversion and were welcomed “with open arms and a smooth intake process” for the client and his faithful companion by Shannon Baumbach. Shannon and the Jail Diversion team were able to provide immediate support for the client that evening and also worked to help secure him a longer term placement that would also accept Sanaa.

We celebrate this AMAZING teamwork! It is truly the definition of the agency’s mission of transforming lives.



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