On the Ground: Aniz

Kymiah Carpenter, Outreach and Rapid Rehousing Case Manager at Aniz, shares one of their most memorable clients and the rewards of their work.

“One of my most memorable clients is my man, Mr. LB. I first met Mr. LB as an intern and did his intake. I was fortunate enough to be able to move him to housing as his case manager. Honest, mild-mannered, and with a gracious soul, Mr. LB always spoke about how blessed he was to be in our program and for being placed at our hotel partner during his transition.

Prior to working with Aniz, Mr. LB had been living outside since 2019. He had kids and grandkids whom he spoke to from time to time, but didn’t have the privilege of seeing often. Mr. LB moved into his apartment in May 2023. He is now referred to as the “OG” in his complex. His family comes to visit him regularly, and he has taken up car detailing as a side hustle. He also received his social security award package and is currently on the list to receive a housing voucher. 

My outreach work allows me the opportunity to interact with many more people like Mr. LB. As part of LIFT 2.0, I visit encampments to speak with our unhoused neighbors and help them access services and housing. Typically, when Aniz visits an encampment, folks can tell that we are there to help. They flock to us, either for information or just to see what’s up. My team announces ourselves, what we do, and what organization we come from. We then conduct intake on the spot…first come, first served. We make a point to note the names and birth dates of all the people that we have seen. We re-visit sites on a weekly basis so that people can get to know who we are and understand we are there to help. 

Many don’t know that once you start working with a client, you become their mini therapist, assistant, and teacher all at once. Case Managers show up for our clients with many hats on, working together to influence our clients’ lives for the better. Case management is a mighty stepping stone to change. We serve on the bridge of a need and a resource. We are truly the Clark Kent’s of the helping professions! 

While case management can be overwhelming, it’s also rewarding. Seeing my clients’ reactions to their new home is the best part of my days. I try to make sure that each of my clients are housed at a property best suitable for them and their needs. Their gasps, smiles, and sometimes tears proves to me that my work is vital in our community. Every being deserves to have a home. Every human is worthy of affordable, sustainable housing. Every person’s need is great enough to be helped.”

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