Annmarie began her Pine Street Inn career sixteen years ago working on the facilities team. Her commitment to helping others led her to become a residential counselor in shelter and then a case manager at a permanent supportive housing site for formerly homeless women.
Now, Annmarie is a case manager at one of Pine Street’s permanent supportive housing sites, helping people develop essential life skills.
“It’s not always easy once someone moves from the street or shelter into housing,” Annmarie says. “My lived experience helps me to relate to tenants, and I encourage them to make positive changes when they become housed. It takes time to adjust to living with others in a new community, to establish a routine, new relationships and to start proactively looking after their health.”
Along with the other staff members, Annmarie works to support each tenant to help them achieve their goals. “It all starts by building a connection with folks and treating them with respect and dignity,” Annmarie says. “As a case manager, I work with people who have histories of homelessness and sometimes trauma. I work to meet people where they are — even if you have to push someone beyond their comfort zones and challenge them with compassion in order to help them grow.”
Annmarie continues, “There are many reasons why someone might become homeless. There are also many paths out of homelessness, but it’s not easy. It takes a community of support to help someone rebuild their life, starting with stable housing.
I tell tenants living in our supportive housing that the best thing they can do is take the risk of accepting some help. You can’t give up, and neither will we,” Annmarie says. “Everyone deserves a ‘good morning,’ a smile and a safe place to call home.”