Before October, 2009, the Executive-Director of the Community Lifeline Center, Christine Hockin-Boyd, was at the helm of a boat without a crew. She was trying to manage everything at the Center – development, grant writing, public relations, casework, long-range planning, coordination with other service providers – you name it. Dedicated to getting the Center back on solid ground, she was struggling to be in the community at the same time that clients needed to confer with her in the office on N. Kentucky Street.
Delphia Adeogun, a trained case worker, walks on board and offers to volunteer. The Director was relieved and welcoming, assuming that Delphia wanted to help out one day a week like many volunteers are able to do. Imagine Christine’s joy when Delphia said she wanted to help daily.
Delphia is so effective that she was officially hired as part-time caseworker when the position became funded by a grant. She will be on staff until February, 2012. By then, hopefully, additional funding will have been obtained so that position can continue. She and the Executive-Director are the only paid staff; all other help at the CLC is volunteer.
Delphia’s empathy for clients is evident. During a recent visit, she asked me what I’d do if my adult child or my spouse suddenly lost a $100,000 a year job and could no longer make the mortgage payment. One circumstance that obviously distresses Delphia is the need for transportation that many of the CLC clients have. If they can’t get to work, how can they get and keep a job? Many rely on C-Cart, but it doesn’t always get them where they need to go.
When asked how she sleeps at night after hearing so many accounts of north Collin County residents’ crises, Delphia admits that she didn’t for a long time. She said she used to “take those folks home in my head.” Now, she’s learned to cope with their stress so that she can enjoy her family – two youngsters – when she gets home.
Delphia and Christine obviously work together well. Delphia admires and emulates Christine’s ability to be “straight forward when she has to be.” They enjoy one another’s company as well. During their lunch breaks, they are learning from a volunteer how to crochet and knit. Perhaps that lunch-time fun is another reason Delphia’s learned not to “take folks home in her head.”
– written by Linda Wilcox