Claire Peterson – Moving People from the Streets to a Home

Claire Peterson, LCSW, is a clinician with Pine Street Inn's daytime outreach team. Now in her second year, Claire has found her calling.

“When I started my Masters in Social Work (MSW) at Simmons College in 2020, my first internship was with the outreach team,” Claire says. “I enjoyed the work so much that I stayed. I graduated last spring and recently became a full time employee.”

“The work is incredibly rewarding,” Claire says. “Every day is a new opportunity. We work to build consistency and rapport with the clients. This way, they get to know us and trust us.”

One of the team’s priorities is helping people move into permanent housing. In 2022, the team was able to house 105 individuals directly from the streets. “The first person I helped find housing (I was still an intern), was a man who stayed in Back Bay,” Claire says. “At first, he was guarded. The more we talked with him, the more he trusted us. He had lived outside for four years and had a serious mental illness. He wasn’t caring for himself and wasn’t able to seek out resources.”

Claire continues, “It took months to gain his trust, but eventually we got him into supportive housing. He’s been there for a year and a half and is getting the treatment he needs. When I visited him in his apartment, he showed me his room and introduced me to the new friends he had made. It was awesome to see him so happy!”