Recently, we spent a little time with Terence Wilkins, the Program Director of our R.I.S.E Program. Terence is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has years of experience working with individuals in need. Terence manages a team of four case managers. Together they provide support and wrap around services to our RISE clients in DeKalb County and City of Atlanta.
Question: What are your main responsibilities as the Program Director of R.I.S.E?
Terence: Through the R.I.S.E. Program, we serve individuals with mental illness who have faced chronic homelessness. As the Program Director, I oversee 84 units of supportive housing which means my team and I support the needs of 84 formerly homeless adults living in their own apartments. My main responsibility is to ensure that our clients maintain stable housing, learn independent living skills and work towards achieving their personal goals. I am fortunate to have a team of awesome case managers who work with the clients on a daily basis.
Question: What are some of the biggest challenges you and your team face?
Terence: Not being able to serve more people! Metro Atlanta has a large homeless population and our program gets many calls for assistance. Unfortunately, we are only able to serve 84 clients and the wait list is growing everyday. If I had one wish, I would wish for the opportunity to end homelessness for more individuals.
Question: What are some motivations that keep you passionate about the work you do?
Terence: I am fortunate to have an opportunity to be with clients as they sign the lease to their very own apartment after stabilizing in our program. The looks on their faces make it all worth it! It reminds me that our work is really making a difference, that we are helping to permanently end homelessness in our community.