My name is Danette and I am on Aurora’s Homeless Outreach Team.  The following “spells out” what Aurora means to me as a case manager and a part of this community:

A is for Agencies- Aurora networks with many different agencies.  There is often a location or two where case managers will find themselves on a weekly basis, but nothing is off limits.  The need of an individual frequently brings us into unfamiliar territory where we learn to incorporate new information and work on our flexibility skills.

U is for Understanding- There are hidden rules all around us regarding how we speak to one another, how we behave, even how we dress.  Aurora assists in mending those broken hidden rules by taking the time to work out misunderstandings.  Many know that first impressions are important, but we feel everyone should be allowed a second, a third or possibly more attempts to make a sustainable connection.

R is for Reciprocity- I am proud to work with such dedicated group of professionals that give more than the core 40 hours a week.  Many hands make lighter work and everyone has their heart in Aurora’s mission.  It makes me feel like I am in the right line of work when I sign up to help and there are already multiple responses to the call.

O is for Outreach- It is a privilege to be welcomed into someone’s personal space.  If a stranger came to your home, uninvited, and unconditionally offered you food, socks and underwear, what would you do?  Run away?  Call the police?  Stay and talk?  We get the opportunity to meet some amazing individuals, in the most unusual of places, and are afforded the joy of being a neighbor without the obstruction of fences.

R is for Resources- With limited affordable housing, resources for basic needs are in high demand.  Much like the United Way’s 211 call for help line, Aurora has a large knowledge base of area resources.  If we do not have it on hand, chances are we know someone who does.

A is for All encompassing- Where else can I work in jeans and a t-shirt, grab some breakfast at the shelter  then shift gears to slacks and a blouse at a benefit luncheon?   I delight in the days I get to hop in the little red truck, windows down, sun shining, and move someone out of shelter into their new home.  I also get satisfaction from our multi-agency meetings when we all pull together to advocate for a client.  Such a broad community to explore and Aurora is a fantastic catalyst to be creative, to be comforting in crisis and capable of conflict resolution.

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Danette graduated from Ivy Tech in 2007 with an Associate Degree in Human Services and later graduated in 2010 from USI with her Bachelor Degree in Social Work.  Currently, she is pursuing her Masters Degree in Social Work.  Prior to be employed at Aurora, she worked at ECHO Community Health Care, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center. She enjoy spending time with her husband, three children and dog,  Daisy.