We’re taking some time to share the stories of our incredible staff who carry out YouthCare’s mission of ending youth homelessness in our community. Meet and learn more about Danee, YouthCare’s amazing Associate Director of Adolescent Housing Services, below!
Q: When did you first start at YouthCare?
In November 2007. I had 7 years of experience working in residential with another organization. I applied to YouthCare and joined Adolescent Shelter as a case manager.
Q: What is your day-to-day like?
I love it. No day is ever the same. The holidays and birthdays are my favorite as seeing youth being celebrated and having them receive a present of something they really wanted is so enjoyable.
My day-to-day is filled with checking in on staff and clients to ensure they have what they need to care for the youth in our program. This includes creating policies, allocating expenses, and most recently—advocacy work! Last year, I moved from managing the Adolescent Shelter program for twelve years to the Associate Director of Adolescent Housing Services at YouthCare. I haven’t left my team at Shelter—but our family has grown.
Q: What are you most proud of in your work?
I am most proud of my team and how we’ve kept our team consistent for young people all these years!
Q: What inspires you to come to work every day?
The youth we serve, YouthCare staff, and my family. I have learned more and received more than I could have ever imagined. I love my job and the many people I have worked with over the years.
Q: What challenges have you faced in your work?
As a woman of color, I have seen a lot and have been impacted by many systems of oppression. This has been a huge challenge.
Q: What are some of the issues that are unique to working with minors?
Consent for placement and treatment for medical treatment. There are conflicting regulations around confidentiality and medication management.
Q: What are some of the disproportionalities you see in the population of youth we serve and what are some systemic reasons for this?
People of color are disproportionality overrepresented in the [youth homelessness] system. Youth of color are involved in systems that tarnish their reputations and that perpetuate a continued downward spiral—which continue to reduce options to stability for youth.
Q: Favorite story or memory at YouthCare?
The holidays for sure!
Q: Dogs or cats?
No question. Cats all the way!