People – Passion – Professionalism: Staff experiences during the pandemic
Zoe Timmerman, Intake & Executive Assistant, Homeless Prevention Services
What was it like working at CSA this past year during the pandemic? How did your job change? How did you flex, pivot and stretch to meet increasing client and/or agency need?
I started to work from home early in the pandemic, covering the front desk phone, which rang nonstop. I live with a family with a small child and could not risk bringing COVID into the home. I feel a great deal of sympathy for our clients who have had to change the rhythm of their lives to compensate for a sudden loss of child care and support.
Was there a seminal moment/incident during this past year when you realized just how much the pandemic is/was impacting your clients and/or workload?
The main moment that I realized how much the pandemic was going to impact my clients was checking the front desk voicemail and watching the rapidly growing rental assistance list expand as more and more people lost work and faced the possibility of losing their homes in addition to their jobs.
What keeps you going at work during times of great uncertainty … like COVID-19?
What keeps me going is knowing how much of a difference the work I do is making in the lives of my clients and hearing the gratitude in their voices when I tell them they’re on the list to get rental assistance. Knowing that what I do eases their burden, even slightly, is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
Anything else that you would like people reading this to know?
Now, more than ever, it’s important to pull together as a community. To not let ourselves be divided by politics, race, religion, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, or anything else. We need to work to support each other in order to come out of this in one piece.