Why Case Manager Ginny Helps Give Unsheltered Youth in San Antonio a Chance
Last Updated: 04 Nov 2022
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For Endeavors case manager Ginny Contreras, working with unsheltered youth in San Antonio is more than a job. It’s a passion.
When Ginny Contreras stepped into the social work field, she felt passionate about working with the elderly. “I was drawn to adults,” she laughed. “Young people weren’t on my radar.”
However, over the course of her social work career, she noticed that the work she did with young people was actually some of the most fulfilling—partially because of how much it was needed.
“[Unsheltered youth] don’t have any support,” said Ginny. “They have to go out into the world without anything or anyone to guide them. They were never prepared for what’s out there. That’s no way to start your life.”
Now, as a case manager for unsheltered young people at Endeavors’ Youth Resilient Project (YRP), Ginny is able to step into a support role for youth in San Antonio.
She works one-on-one with clients to help them find housing and provide access to important services like mental health counseling, parenting education, employment assistance, educational services, life skills training, mentorship, and childcare, as well as basic needs such as food, clothing, and medical care.
“This program is so important,” she said. “We’re helping them get on their feet and give them a fresh start.”
But it goes beyond just that fresh start. Ginny is also passionate about helping youth dream beyond “survival mode.” She explained that, for most of the kids she works with, survival was all that was modeled for them by the adults in their lives.
“They didn’t just suddenly become homeless in the last year or a few months. Some of them experienced it on and off with their parents or a family member, or they were in and out of the foster system. And they just don’t know what life can look like.”
Once she helps young people get back on their feet, she is adamant about helping instill in them a sense of possibility for the future.
“I want them to know that they don’t have to live in survival mode. They can actually have a good life where they thrive
As a mom of two herself, Ginny feels a special tie to these kids.
“I have a daughter and a son, and I think I have a different perspective on this work after becoming a parent.” She says she’s not trying to be their parent, but she feels a special responsibility to let them know they’re not alone.
“I feel so good when a client calls me, excited because they got a job, or they paid their portion of the rent on time, or they’re going back to school.”
How You Can Help
Since 2012, Endeavors has been a leader in rapid re-housing services for Veterans and people with disabilities or mental illnesses who are experiencing homelessness or facing homelessness.
Our model provides safe and stable housing for residents to heal from trauma and gain new skills through training and empowerment to prevent eviction. With teams of dedicated case managers and our individualized approach, we’ve had the honor of helping thousands of people in crisis build safe, stable, self-sufficient futures.
Want to get involved? Many of our clients come to us with little to no personal belongings. We are in need of supplies to best serve those in our care, and you can help! Click here to learn about our supportive housing programs and donate to those in need—from monetary donations to shampoo and conditioner to Tupperware to interview clothes. You can also head to our Amazon Housing Item Drive to donate specific items.
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org.