In 2023, we’re going to feature more employee stories on the Guild blog and through our social media channels in order to spotlight the amazing work our Guild team does day after day in our communities. Today, we’re featuring Anne Boyer. She’s the supervisor of the Delancey Street and WISH Programs and has been with Guild for over five years.
Describe your role at Guild. What do you do? What team are you on?
I am the supervisor of both the Delancey Street program and WISH program. We are part of the Housing Services service line and provide mental health and housing case management to individuals who are experiencing/have experienced homelessness and often have a Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) diagnosis. I provide training, guidance and support to the case managers doing frontline work with our participants. I am also the Co-Chair of Guild’s DEI committee.
What does your average day look like at work?
My workday can look different depending on the needs of the programs. However, each day often consists of providing guidance and support to case managers around participant services, organizing and developing team standards and expectations and providing coaching and supervision on how to maintain those standards, helping build a support network between team members, communicating with program participants when needed and most recently, covering participant tasks or cases to help support the team through staffing transitions.
Why does your work matter?
I have the opportunity to help the individuals I supervise grow and develop in their roles as case managers and feel confident in their ability to provide services to program participants. As Co-Chair of Guild’s DEI committee, I can actively play a role in Guild’s DEI goals for the organization and, along with some inspiring and dedicated committee members, share DEI resources and training to encourage conversations and knowledge around DEI throughout the organization.
Is there one memory that stands out to you where you really saw Guild’s impact in action?
I think I will always remember when a participant who had been experiencing street homelessness for 10+ years moved into their new apartment after having received assistance from our team. The first day they moved in, I helped them set up a blow-up mattress so that they would have somewhere to sleep until we were able to assist them with furniture and a bed. The participant laid down on the bed, closed their eyes, smiled and was able to relax for the first time in years. I think this image will always stay with me.
What’s special about Guild’s approach, and how do you play a role in it?
One of Guild’s primary approaches to the work we do is being person-centered in the services we provide. Guild places importance on meeting participants where they are at in their lives and in identifying and achieving their goals. As a case manager, I strived to provide person-centered care to each of the participants I was working with by seeing them as individuals and modifying my service approach to fit their individual needs. As a supervisor, I do not work as closely with participants as I had before. However, I do continue to hold the person-centered approach in my mind not only in situations where I do interact with participants but also while interacting with and providing guidance to the staff I supervise.
How have you grown in your role at Guild?
I started at Guild as a case manager on the Delancey Street team, which allowed me to build relationships with many of the participants our teams still serve today. It also provided me with the opportunity to strengthen my skills in various approaches, including harm-reductions strategies, the housing first model, and motivational interviewing techniques. I first became the supervisor for the Delancey Street program approximately two years ago and am now the supervisor of both the Delancey Street program and WISH program. This is my first time taking on a leadership position, and I am learning and developing in my role all the time with the help of both our Program Manager and Service Line Director, who have been a significant source of support for me.
What would your co-workers say about you, if given the chance?
I have been told that I am patient and maintain a calm composure even during challenging situations. I have also had staff express that they feel supported by me and are grateful to have me as their supervisor.
What would your clients say about you, if given the chance?
I do not have as much participant interaction since transferring to a supervisor position, but I felt that I was able to establish a positive rapport with many of the participants I worked with when I was a case manager. Many of them remember me and reach out to me to this day.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your work with Guild or why you work with Guild?
One of the things I love most about Guild is the people I get to work alongside each day. There is a genuine desire to have a positive impact on the participants we serve and provide the most effective services we can. My experience with Guild staff overall is that these are individuals who care about our participants and care about the work we do on many different levels, from frontline direct services to legislative advocacy.
How would you sum up your experience as a Guild employee? What makes you stick around and invest your talents?
I am very grateful for all I have learned and continue to learn while being a Guild employee. I have grown as an employee and a person because of it. I not only can apply what I have learned to my job, but I can also share that knowledge with others in the community and in my own social networks to try and break the stigma around homelessness and mental illness.