Jamie Ayres started as a Peer Support Worker at GCBHS in the spring of 2021. She is now a substance use disorder (SUD) care manager on the CARE Team, (Collaborations for Addictions, Recovery, & Engagement) which means she works with people who are experiencing homelessness every day. “Compassion,” she says, “is so important in this job. Many times, the people we see have no family or friends. We are all they have.”
She says clients are sometimes shocked because “If we don’t see someone for a week or so…we begin to look for them…hospitals, jails… we drive around to places we know they hang out. We ask other people ‘Have you seen so-and-so?’ They can’t believe that somebody cared enough to worry about them.”
So, what drives her to do this work?
“People walk into St Anthony’s without socks on their feet. No coat…someone has stolen their blankets and shoes…it breaks my heart. People don’t understand how someone can become homeless. Nobody chooses it. Nobody chooses addiction or a mental illness. I help others because it fills my heart to do it. It’s my mission, my purpose.”
Check out the full 2023 Annual Report HERE.