Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Olu’s Story

Olufemi, who also goes by Olu, began his career at Homes First in the summer of 2019. He had heard of Homes First through friends that worked with the organization, and decided to apply and see how it went.

Olu began on the Co-ed floor at Bathurst-Lake Shore shelter as a Community Shelter Worker. “My first week was so encouraging. I worked with a whole bunch of wonderful employees. They showed me everything and I was ready to go. That made me feel comfortable.”

A few months into his role as a CSW, Olu felt he could be doing more for the residents and applied for an ICM position. Olu was successful in getting the ICM role but hesitant about moving to the Couples floor at Bathurst-Lake Shore but soon, with support from his supervisor Christopher, began doing more for residents.

“He’s been such a wonderful person. I’ve learned so much from him.”

Since starting as an ICM worker, Olu has found working with the residents can be challenging sometimes, but it also carries great rewards. He recalls a time where a resident had suffered a traumatic brain injury and because of his injury, memory loss. Olu was helping the resident reconnect with family, most of whom were in Nigeria, when one day, through social media, he was able to help the resident reconnect with his wife, who hadn’t seen him since his injury a year prior.

“It was so emotional. It made us [the ICM team] feel wow, this is such a rewarding moment.”

Along working with residents, Olu finds encouragement through the ICM team, who will work together to solve problems and support residents if one of them is facing a challenge.

“I’ve been so appreciative of working with this organization. I came into this organization trying to find my feet in the social work field,” he says. “It’s been a family working here.”

Thank you Olu, and all the teams at Bathurst-Lake Shore shelter, for the work you do!

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