Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Melody

Melody was driving home from an overnight shift on Monday when she noticed a woman, who was a frequent resident at Kennedy, on the street a few blocks away from the shelter. Melody pulled into a gas station and as she got out and walked over to the resident, saw she was in bad shape. The resident was stumbling, had lost a lot of weight, had bruising on her body, a gash on her head and dried blood on her clothes. Melody knows this resident well and said she was normally upbeat and put together.

“I needed to make sure she was ok because knowing her history, this was a terrible state to see her in.”

Realizing something was wrong, she approached the resident and asked her if she needed any help, or something to eat. The resident didn’t recognize her at first and had trouble speaking, but Melody was able to understand she’d like a coffee.

As Melody went to get the resident a coffee and something to eat, she called the Kennedy supervisor Cherish for guidance. While making her way back to the resident, she found she had gone into a bus shelter, and was leaning over and nodding in and out of consciousness.

Having a strong rapport with this resident, Melody suggested she go to a hospital and called 911, making sure the resident was breathing until paramedics arrived. As the paramedics took the resident to the hospital, she gave them her name and asked the resident to call her at the shelter to follow up and make sure she was ok.

A few days later, Melody learned the resident was checked over in the hospital and discharged to another Homes First shelter, before coming back to Kennedy.

When asked what the best thing about working with our residents is, Melody says she’s just happy to be able to help.

“The biggest reward for me is knowing I made a difference even if it’s a small difference,” she says. “I look forward to seeing the women at the shelter daily.”

 Thank you Melody, and all the staff at Kennedy shelter and other Homes First sites for the continued work they do every day to keep our residents safe!

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