Helping Others Energizes Staff

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Nolan Bennett is our amazing admin assistant at the Carnegie Resource Center in Everett. He wanted to share a few success stories that he witnessed at the center recently.

The Carnegie Resource Center is a gateway to a multitude of resources and training opportunities related to mental health counseling and substance use disorder treatment, employment services, housing enrollment, veteran programs, health insurance navigation, and public benefit enrollments. All services at the center are coordinated by Pioneer Human Services. The program offers a one-stop location where local residents can engage with several service providers.  


“Over the past several months, the Carnegie staff served many clients that were feeling lost, hopeless and very alone. One client that stands out in my mind was Peter, who admitted his feeling of being completely overwhelmed and lost. He needed many social services in the community but could not seem to navigate all the paths and instructions to obtain what he needed.

Staff met with Peter and helped him prioritize his needs. To help him feel safer, we assisted Peter in scheduling an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccination. His health and safety were a definite priority. Staff then worked on connecting Peter to food benefits as he had limited income. Peter also expressed a desire to find employment so staff trained him on search methods on the computer and worked with him on filling out a few job applications. Peter was so thrilled with all the assistance and expressed his happiness and plans to come back to keep building his path to a better life.

Moments like these provide an opportunity of clarity for me. I get to live Pioneer’s mission of transforming individuals in society by honoring the humanity of people and empowering people to live safe, healthy, and productive lives

Since Peter’s original visit, he has obtained several different identification documents with Carnegie’s staff assistance including securing his birth certificate. He also was hired to work at Lowes full-time. I am so happy to share that Peter is well on his way of meeting his objectives. It has been my privilege to walk alongside him in his journey.

Another story I want to share is on Marcus, an elderly client who came in to get help acquiring food benefits. Since many benefits offices are either closed or have limited hours, Marcus came in to the Carnegie as a last ditch effort to get his food benefits. He was extremely frustrated by the complexity of the system.

After spending hours sitting down with Marcus and sorting through his emails, usernames and passwords, we finally got the Secure Washington email portal working properly and we were able to submit his bank statements to DSHS. That was a great relief for Marcus.

In addition, we connected Marcus to an individual staff member at DSHS that we have a good working relationship with and got his food benefits reinstated. Marcus left ecstatic that he could eat that night and was so grateful and appreciative of our assistance.

Too often in social services careers, we become burned out with the workload that so many individuals in need bring to us. Often, employees need to take a break or leave of absence to be able to take care of their own mental health needs. When helping others starts becoming a job – and not a passion – you know you need a break. Luckily, moments such as those with Peter and Marcus give me such heartwarming feelings and rejuvenate the energy I have to help more people.”