Phoenix is community and a place where youth determine and realise their potential.
One of the biggest thrills of my job is helping youth find an apartment in stable, safe and affordable communities and then seeing them become part of that community.
Being a mom is very special for me. Becoming a mother and watching my daughter Maddison grow up into the young lady that she is has been wonderful and has taught me so many important and special lessons along the way.
When I came across a posting for Phoenix, I started researching and found a YouTube video, A Day in the Life at Phoenix Youth Shelter. I watched that video and I cried. I knew in that moment that Phoenix was the place that I wanted to work at. The video alone inspired me so much — it was non-pretentious and very youth focused. I sent in my application and luckily was hired on pretty soon after that.
For my role in particular, ‘move-in days’ are huge. I get to be there and be a part of that moment. I love watching my youth get excited about moving into, what in many cases is their first apartment and getting their first set of keys. I feel so privileged to even play a small part in a Youth’s journey to stability, safety and reaching their full potential.
I am also one of the first aid instructors here and I do my work through St. John’s Ambulance. I do training both for the youth and staff. I love training the youth.
Seeing the resilience of our youth makes me feel lucky. I started at the Shelter where, often, we see youth during their times of crisis. Now, with the housing support program, I get to see youth, most often, at their best because they’re now stably housed, becoming active members in their communities and able to work towards their life goals.
My day-to-day can be stressful but it’s worth it. I’ve met a number of youth during my time at Phoenix who have become huge inspirations for me. Their stories of survival and resilience make me love to come in and do my job each day.
Marsha has been working with Phoenix since Spring 2012 and has been in her current role, full-time, since May 2017.