What it’s like to work at OLHSA - a day with Richena Lawrence Posted: September 22, 2016 Updated: September 22, 2016

8:45 a.m.

My day begins. I’m a Client Service Coordinator for OLHSA, which means I help people find and receive the assistance they need in order to improve their lives. I often greet families and individuals on one of their worst days…the day their water has been shut off, the day they get a crushingly large heat bill in the mail with no means to pay it, or the day they realize they may not find another job soon and need help making ends meet. It’s my job to welcome them with open arms, make them feel like there is hope and to find them help when they need it most.

9:00 a.m. – noon
I’m meeting with clients, assessing their needs and finding them the programs at OLHSA that can help. Recently a couple from Kentucky met with me. They were in need of utility assistance, but because they still had Kentucky IDs we couldn’t help yet. Their service was due to be disconnected the following day. I was able to place a hold on their account, preventing the shut off, while they obtained Michigan IDs. A few days later they came back and OLHSA helped with their bill.

I try to get out for lunch, even just to stretch my legs or chat with co-workers for a little while. OLHSA’s campus is close to downtown Pontiac, so on a good day my co-worker Kadeja and I will walk to get a bite at The Chili Bowl When you’re helping people who are in such tough spots, it’s important to chat with co-workers and get advice about handling different situations. And it’s important to get outside and let the sun shine on your face! No matter how much work there is to do, or how many people there are to help, I always keep smiling. It’s kind of what I’m known for!

2 p.m.
Meetings with clients continue. The best part of my job is helping a family become more stable…getting them back on their feet. And one of my favorite things is when I meet people who become fast friends. You never know who will walk through the door at OLHSA in need of help. Hard times fall on every demographic and it’s a pleasure getting to meet so many different, and interesting people.

4:45 p.m.
I pack up for the day, and head out to have dinner at home with my family. It’s an honor to help OLHSA’s clients, and so great to have a rewarding job that allows me to enjoy my evenings at home.