Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Betul Gaffari (she/her) came to Boston to attend Boston College. She learned about Pine Street Inn through BC’s Pulse program, which teaches students about social justice, by having them fulfill a volunteer service requirement.
“I volunteered at Yawkey House,” Betul says. “It was wonderful! I ended up staying for a full year instead of just a summer.”
Once Betul graduated, she started her career at another nonprofit organization, but she missed Pine Street. “I ended up applying for a job as a housing resource specialist in 2022,” Betul says. “It turns out my interview was with someone I worked with at Yawkey House. When I started on this team there were a lot of familiar faces which was nice.”
Betul began her position thinking that she would not be able to stay as her work visa was expiring in six months. “In my second or third month, I met with HR to see if there was a chance I could obtain a work visa through Pine Street, not expecting it to work out,” Betul says. “To my surprise it did, and I was able to come back and resume my position.” Betul continues, “The teams work to eliminate obstacles and help people get housed. I do research to find resources everyone on my team can use to make the process easier for our guests and that’s really rewarding.”
Recently, Betul joined the LGBTQIA+ Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee. “I wanted to be part of a group of like-minded people here at Pine Street,” Betul says. “It’s really special to have your supervisor and leadership encourage people to do DEI work and celebrate their identities, which is so out of the norm for where I come from.”