Social Work Students Help Those in Need
February 27, 2012 – Eighteen Shaw University Social Work students participated in the 2012 Point in Time Count at the Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD). Under the direction of Shaw Social Work Assistant Professor Monique Holsey-Hyman, the students helped to provide a statistically reliable, unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families.
Conducting a Point-in-Time Count is important to all communities. The count is a tally of who is homeless on a given night and provides a snapshot of who experiences homeless throughout the year. Lloyd Schmeidler, Project Manager of the City of Durham’s Department of Community Development and Patrice Nelson, Executive Director for Urban Ministries, requested the assistance of Shaw University’s Department of Social Work students to participate in this year’s Point in Time Count.
The 2012 count began at 6pm on January 25th and ended at 6pm on January 26th. On the night of the 25th, emergency shelters and transitional housing programs counted the persons who were residing in their programs. Beginning in 2009, communities applying for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care funding to serve the homeless are required to conduct a count each year in the last week of January. This entails interviewing and gathering information from the consumers in Durham who are homeless.
Students were able to use their social work skills such as, interviewing, engagement, and employing the Generalist Intervention Model (GIM), a practice model that provides step-by- step directions for how to undertake the planned change process with clients. Social workers help people deal with problems ranging from personal relationships to a lack of resources. Mr. Brandon Moyer and Mr. Ander Womack, two social work students who attend the event, stated, “the event really allowed us to gain practice experience in working with the homeless and with a population that is truly at risk.” The students also had an opportunity to meet the many “faces” of homelessness, including a family of four, an elderly man who had 14 grandchildren, and a man who had a college degree.
Shaw University was founded in 1865 and is the oldest historically black university in the south. Shaw University is a private, co-educational liberal arts University, that awards degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The primary mission of Shaw University is teaching with the commitment to maintain excellence in research and academic programs that foster intellectual enhancement and technological skills.