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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Snedden

Taking the Case

Updated: Aug 31

As part of its commitment to support newly housed individuals, A Home For Everyone In DeKalb contracted with case worker Kenny Anderson to work with the residents at the Snapfinger house. He has 21 years of experience working with several agencies around Atlanta, including Hope Atlanta. He has a special understanding of what it’s like to struggle with being unhoused.

“I was a computer programmer, but when I came to Atlanta, I was homeless,” he says. “ I was in a transitional program for a year and then started working for them as a house manager, and that turned into a case manager position in 2005 for several agencies here in Atlanta, until I retired in 2021.”

He continues: ”I took some certified addiction counselor classes, and mental health specialist courses but the more in-depth work came from being homeless and working with people on the street.

If you’re homeless, you can identify with individuals that are homeless as well as with their needs, their attitudes, disabilities, the mental health aspect,” he explains.

“Almost everybody is experiencing some sort of mental health issue whether it’s depression, anxiety, food, COVID, financial. That brings out the compassion for what I do and for what others are going through. “

Question: How do you support the clients who are living in the Snapfinger house?

“When I started this years ago, there were quite a few transitional homes and now there are only two places that I know of. A lot of homeless individuals have barriers, like unemployment; it could be their ID, it could be mental health medication, and these barriers just don’t go away. You just can’t take care of them overnight. Being here, at A Home For Everyone, it allows them the time to get these barriers completed. Get their ID, get a job, get their Social Security disability taken care of (or they may have some mental health issues), get a doctor, get on your meds, and get stabilized. You get your business taken care of. You don’t need the extra stress of ever being homeless again. “

Kenny comes to the Snapfinger house every Wednesday and case manages each of our house clients.

The first thing he says is to establish trust. “They don’t know me and I don’t know them. Then we go through and tackle these presenting issues, one by one, and whatever services these individuals need, we get them taken care of, one by one, step by step until they achieve their ultimate goal. Sometimes it's life skills; they don’t know how to cook or maybe they just need someone to talk to. Sometimes they have shared stories of child neglect and abuse. This is why it’s important to listen, to try and understand and walk in the path that they’re walking in”.

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