Tina Cheek is the Resource Center Supervisor at Pine Street’s Rapid Engagement Center (REC). She supervises a staff of six who are dedicated to ensuring that shelter guests have access to resources such as phones, computers and staff who can assist them in finding a job and housing.
Tina's passion for helping others followed her recovery from addiction. "After I completed The Salvation Army/Harbor Light Center treatment program, they hired me for my first job in 1991," says Tina. "The Salvation Army allowed me to attend college while they provided free room and food in exchange for me assisting new residents."
Since then, Tina has been working in human services in Greater Boston for 32 years, specifically in areas like domestic violence, substance use and homelessness. "I have always loved helping people, and I feel like this career is my destiny," says Tina.
At Pine Street Inn, a typical day for Tina starts before she even gets to her office. "I often interact with guests when I’m getting my morning coffee," says Tina. "Pine Street is a very fast-paced environment, and you have to be able to think on your feet, stay engaged with the guests and be accessible."
Tina is most proud of launching the Rapid Engagement Center in 2022. The REC is a place for Pine Street guests to have coffee, use the phones and computers to find jobs, manage paperwork, and keep up with appointments. Staff are available to discuss housing options, assist in filling out applications, obtain birth certificates and other necessary ID paperwork.
"I love the work we do at Pine Street," says Tina. "I am overjoyed when we overcome the barriers that a guest has been experiencing, and they can put the keys in the lock to their new home and be part of a community again."