Imagine if you will that you are sitting in your doctor’s office talking to him about an upcoming procedure and he tells you that you will need someone to be in the waiting room during the procedure and also someone to drive you home. For many of you, you have a list of people who you could call mom, dad, sister, brother, spouse, etc. they would drop everything to be with you for support. For most of Aurora’s client’s their case manager is the only person they can call.
Yesterday I sat in the recovery room with a lady who I meet at a local shelter and assisted finding housing and applying for Social Security Disability. Sue’s case was recently closed due to finding safe, secure, and affordable housing. I knew when I closed Sue she didn’t have any people who were supportive, dependable, or trustworthy. She has some family in Evansville, but none that want much to do with her because “she is different”. Knowing that Sue had many medical issues I told Sue that she could call me if she ever needed assistance with her doctor’s appointments or just someone to talk to. I received a call a few weeks ago from Sue stating that she was having some medical issues and was going to be having a procedure done, but would need someone to be with her. I stated that my schedule was open for the day and I would be happy to help her.
Sue took the bus to the hospital and was prepped for her procedure. I arrived to the office later and checked in with the secretary and told her I was there for Sue. The secretary applauded me for being such a good friend; I thanked her and told her that I was just doing my job. As I sat in the waiting room for about 45 minutes I thought about the compliment the secretary gave me for being a “good friend”. I was not Sue’s friend, mom, or sister who could have been there, but chose not to be. I was her case manager who turned into one of her biggest supports. This happens with more Aurora clients than just Sue. Daily, case managers at Aurora become a support for people that have no one. No one to call with exciting news, no one to tell their story to, no one to talk to about their bad day, and no one who took the time to listen and care.
The nurse came out and called my name and escorted me back to Sue’s recovery room. Sue was coming out of anesthetic, but she smiled when she saw me and genuinely thanked me for being there. As Sue became more alert we talked casually about things that were going on in each of our lives as if we were friends who hadn’t seen each other in a few months. Sue was able to be released with no restrictions and staff took her home.
Support is a vital and important piece in everyone’s story regardless of rich or poor, white or black, unemployed or working. I have had the pleasure of working on Aurora’s Homeless Outreach Team for two years and I have been able to witness the difference support can make in an individual’s life and future. I know that without the help of my family and friends during hard times that I myself would have came through Aurora’s doors asking for help. Where would you be at without your biggest supporters?