A Mohave County resident named Wayne recently returned home after being discharged from the hospital for a serious medical episode. After an already stressful life event, what he found waiting for him disrupted his life even more–an eviction notice. While he was in the hospital, his residence was sold to a new landlord. Unsure of who could help, Wayne called the first reliable person who came to mind: Vicki, his DES Child Support Services Officer.
When Wayne called Vicki, she reassured him that he had done the right thing, even though the disruption was not directly related to child support services. “I told him it’s fine that he called… ’Let’s see what we can get done for you,’” said Vicki. With little time before Wayne had to vacate his residence, she immediately devised a plan and began calling local resources and organizations to seek assistance.
After time spent on the phone with eight organizations, Vicki was disappointed to learn that each had limited resources, and couldn’t assist Wayne as quickly as he needed. “I told him, ‘I’m not going to stop. I’m going to keep going and see what else I can find out,’” she said. Vicki told him to come to the local DES office the next morning. When he arrived, he informed Vicki that he was grieving a close relative who had passed during the night. Vicki’s coworkers in the DES Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), Santana and Mardella, immediately began assisting with the situation. “We’re all very tight-knit, and we work well together to take care of whatever is needed for our customers, no matter where they’re from,” said Vicki.
The three women worked diligently to find Wayne an organization that could help, but they were coming up short. Finally, a security guard who overheard the exchange walked over to Wayne and Vicki. He offered a Mohave County Community Services flyer someone brought into the office earlier. After encountering many organizations with limited resources, Vicki was afraid she would find that services were unavailable, once again. She was relieved, however, when Wayne reached back out the same day after a meeting with the organization to express his gratitude and share his good news. “They were really helping him out a lot!” she said.
Through the Mohave County Community Services, Wayne qualified for permanent supportive housing and the workforce development program. An available housing unit, U-Haul rental, new clothes, and vehicle support, including registration and restoration, were immediately provided to Wayne.
“We operate on what we call a ‘no wrong door’ policy,” said Supportive Housing Program Coordinator, Kelly Williams-Greer. “When you walk through our doors looking for assistance, you do not walk out the door empty-handed. We sit down with them, filter through the barriers and plan for the next steps.”
The DES team shares similar values in following the ‘no wrong door’ policy, as demonstrated by Vicki and her colleagues. DCSS Caseworkers retain resources provided by our community partners so they can refer customers as needed, leading more individuals and families to safety and stability.
If you or someone you know needs help building a more secure future, please visit the DES website.