Thomas is a Peer Support Tenant Navigator at the Delancey Apartments.
Q: Describe a typical day as a Peer Support Tenant Navigator at the Delancey Apartments.
Thomas: No such thing as typical. On a recent day, I gave rides for a resident to go shopping, came back to do paperwork with a different resident, visited with clients, helped them solve problems, gave out food from our world-famous frozen supplies, helped a resident put some furniture together, checked in with my supervisor, did lots of charting, checked in with case managers, and spoke with a peer’s family members and guests.
Q: How did your career path lead you to your current position at Guild?
Thomas: I developed major depressive disorder and ADD and had a head injury at a very early age. I also was self-medicating for years. This qualified me to be a Peer Support Specialist. So after 10 years at HCMC working a very strenuous job, I read online about peer support classes and decided to get a different job where I could put my skills to good use, and that would be fulfilling. I started at Guild in November 2018 as a desk clerk at Delancey Apartments. Six months later I became a Tenant Navigator / Peer Support Specialist at the Apartments and have been here ever since.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Thomas: The residents and staff I have worked with over the years.
Q: What is something you’ve learned throughout your time at Guild?
Thomas: How people really are the same deep down inside. We have the same basic needs and wants. I feel honored trying to provide for the people living at Delancey Apartments.
Q: What’s your proudest memory from working at Guild?
Thomas: Making holiday dinner with help from residents.
Q: Why is Delancey Apartments important?
Thomas: Homeless, MICD people [people with a mental illness/who are chemically dependant] come to learn how to live again and take care of themselves with some help from us. I think this is so important for us to do.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
Thomas: Take photographs and print them. I was a Stage Lighting Designer for years and I still dabble. I have reconnected with my two sisters and one brother. So I try to find time for them and my friends.