Each month, we will be highlighting the amazing staff we have here at THC. This month, I sat down with Dave Woodard, Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Case Manager at Weinberg Commons, to talk about life at THC and his goals for 2016.
Tell me a little about yourself
I grew up in Denver, Colorado and miss the mountains every single day. I consider Baltimore my secondary hometown, since I lived there while attending Goucher College.
Before THC, I served with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). During one project, my NCCC team was based out of a kitchen at The Road Home, a shelter in Salt Lake City. We served as monitors, conducted intake and provided general support at the shelter. After my AmeriCorps service, I worked at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation as a Program Coordinator. At the Foundation, I worked with our educational advisors to support students in the Young Scholars program. I ensured that the scholars were connected to the resources they needed to be successful.
I’m a Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager and I’ve been at THC for seven months. I work with families to identify barriers to maintaining stable housing, and then help with setting and achieving goals to address those barriers. I work with 12 families at Weinberg Commons, our newest single-site housing complex.
Things at Weinberg have been going well so far. Since families began moving in October, most PSH families have created and are sticking to household budgets, one client is employed full-time, three others are working with our employment services team and two are in school. The children at Weinberg have been equally impressive – last quarter, three families celebrated straight A students!
What are the three best things about working at THC?
My favorite thing about working at THC is working directly with families. I enjoy the goal-setting process and helping clients identify their strengths. I especially enjoy working with school-aged children and helping them foster a passion for learning. I also love being part of a high-functioning team. Weinberg itself exemplifies the dedication of our entire staff from development and affordable housing to program staff. It’s inspiring to work with such passionate people.
What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
My biggest challenge is leaving my work at Weinberg. Frequently, when I’m doing something mundane and mindless at home, I catch myself stressing about families’ situations.
Personally, I’m hoping to go on at least one camping trip a month during the summer. I squandered my youth on video games, but discovered a love for wilderness while doing trail work in California. I know Virginia has some incredible sights, and I hope to see as many as possible.
Professionally, getting ready for grad school and the accompanying debt is my next step. I hope to be enrolled in either an MSW or school counseling program in 2017, so I hope to have a program selected and applications completed by the end of the year.