Columbus, OH – NYAP’s Family Case Manager from the Care Management program gains personal growth on peace leave in Chicago, IL

Kristen Nelson , Family Case Manager at Care Management in Columbus, OH, was on Peace Leave the week of July 9 th in Chicago, IL. She was involved with a youth group from her church and reports it was AWESOME! Kristen said it was different to see volunteering through high schoolers’ eyes. They were shocked to see homelessness and violence in Chicago and had a really, REALLY hard time connecting the problems of Chicago with home. Towards the end of the week, many started asking her what her job was and if Columbus had similar problems. They volunteered with a Latino youth program in the mornings and homeless shelter in the evenings. Kristin says, “I hope they can connect the two and realize they don’t need to be in Chicago to help people On top of that, I met some really awesome homeless men and women – something I don’t have much experience dealing with…so there was some personal growth.”

Kristen also had an opportunity to meet one of Chicago’s most well-known gang outreach “people”. She moved into the heart of the problem, literally and has been inspiring young men and women to look for positive things in life. Kristen begins as a TC in the CANEI program on July 23 and goes on to report “I introduced myself and explained CANEI and her response was “yeah, I think I’ve heard of that program…they work with Cook County, right?” She spends lots of time visiting her kids in jail and seemed to have some knowledge of the CANEI program. And of course, tons and tons of delicious ethnic food. (CANEI has a contract with DCFS in Cook County and recently expanded with an MOU with Cook County DJJ to serve youth in one of the highest risk communities with the home-based CANEI).