“Meet Them Where They Are”
It’s not easy to change, even if it’s something that will be beneficial to you. For some of our patients – just like it is for anyone – change is scary, difficult, and completely overwhelming. That’s when Sheika Allen, WeCareJax Community Health Worker, steps in. Sheika guides them through these scary transitions, encourages them to reach their health and wellness goals, and finds new opportunities for our patients to thrive. She is their number one cheerleader, their listening ear, and their helping hand for one-on-one wrap-around care and support.
Sheika met our WeCareJax Beaches Health and Wellness patient Carrie (name changed for anonymity) one year ago. Carrie had been living in her car for the last 4 years, was diagnosed with hypertension, suffering chronic pain, and she didn’t think her situation could get any better than it was. She was hesitant to dive into getting any support, because the thought of filling out paperwork, working through public systems that had failed her before, and changing from her current “normal” was too stressful to even start.
It took months of constant contact, reassurance, and rapport building, but Carrie finally took the leap; and knowing Sheika was in her corner, she jumped in with both feet. Here are some of the accomplishments that Carrie has been able to attain with Sheika by her side:
- Connected with a housing case manager at Mission House and is currently touring available options.
- Applied for SSI with Sheika earlier this year – and it’s now active!
- Completed Nutritional Counseling through BEAM and received support with food assistance.
- Referred to ElderSource and a Medicare Specialist for Medicare questions – and now has Medicare Part A & B and Medicaid!
- Reapplied for SNAP benefits.
- Connected with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid for sliding scale assistance with vehicle fees and past legal issues.
- Transportation assistance through WeCareJax for all of her medical appointments.
When asked how she felt about Carrie’s progress this year, Sheika had this to say:
“I am so proud of her! She has come a very long way and I’m glad that she trusted me enough to stick with me. Even though she was reluctant at first, she kept in contact with me and kept the relationship going. I’m so happy that she’s going in the right direction. Sometimes, you just have to meet folks where they are, physically and emotionally.”