At this year’s Home For Good Summit, Patrick Brehme from Housing Works received the Client Advocate Award! Patrick was recognized for going above and beyond to advocate for the needs of clients. Congrats Patrick!
1. What is your role at Housing Works?
I am a Caseworker at Housing Works, a non-profit organization that serves homeless individuals and families through a housing first model. I actually hate the term “caseworker.” It sounds too clinical! I prefer to call myself an advocate or a partner
2. Why did you decide to get involved in the issue of homelessness?
I got involved in homelessness because I was homeless in the past. I was able to overcome substance abuse and mental health issues, and learned that bad advocacy and casework do not occupy a neutral space but can actually frustrate hope and determination. What we do is important.
3. Of all the clients you have worked with, is there one story that stands out?
I’m currently working with someone who has two degrees from Stanford, but is so impacted by mental health problems that our main challenged is remembering to check for phone messages from me.
4. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
The book title might be, “Please leave my potential out of this.”