Meet Doris!

She has worn many hats while working at UMOM– she previously worked at Helpings (pre-COVID) and more recently, at the front desk as a shelter assistant. But now, she’s the comforting and calm spirit who helps residents get their supplies at the client services office, located in the center of campus. Doris started working at UMOM about two years ago. When she began as an intern in Helpings Café, she knew a lot about what UMOM offers, having only recently moved out of Halle Women’s Center. Doris lost her home three years ago after her husband passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack, not long after the two of them moved to Phoenix from Michigan. Their move had been so recent, Doris had not yet found a job. Grieving and without an income, she found it difficult to concentrate on job hunting. She lost her home and car. “When he died, my world fell apart,” she says. Too embarrassed to tell her grown children she needed help, Doris slept under bushes for a few days, until she was able to get into Halle. She had learned about UMOM through a family member who had once needed to check into the New Day Center emergency shelter. Knowing that she could find a place to stay for a while not only turned out to be a lifeline for Doris, it became a future career for her. Doris learned a lot about what UMOM offers during her stay, completing as many of the workshops and programs available to her as she could. She participated in Homegrown and once she moved out of the shelter, worked as an intern at Helpings for a while. After COVID hit and temporarily closed the café, Doris was hired as a shelter assistant, monitoring campus and checking in clients at the front desk. Not long ago, Doris moved to client services, a position she loves. There, she takes stock of the different items clients need and makes requests for whatever is running low. As distribution and donations manager AAron Iverson drops off supplies, she asks for more container lids rather than facial tissue. “I don’t need more Kleenex,” she jokes as the two chuckle about how much is stacked up in the supply room. When asked what she likes about working in client services, Doris responds that she can relate to what the families are experiencing. “It gives me a different perspective on the client. I see them on a different level. Instead of telling them what they need to do, I get to give them what they need. I like that. I get more smiles instead of grumbles

To learn more about all the faces who help UMOM, keep an eye out for next month’s Employee Spotlight!