GREENSBORO, N.C. — College students in the Piedmont Triad are teaming up with congregational nurses to help the homeless in a unique way at the Greensboro Interactive Resource Center.
Social work students at UNCG and North Carolina A&T University intern at the IRC to help guests can get all the help they need in one place. They work with nurses through a program called the Congregational Social Work Education Initiative.
Victoria Jones is a master’s level intern with UNCG.
“I feel like we are the voice for the guests here,” said Jones.
Because the IRC operates on a tight budget, Executive Director Michelle Kennedy says the program makes it possible for guests to get counseling they need.
“It could be something as simple as someone just needs someone to process with and debrief. It could also be someone who’s in a real life-threatening crisis, who is suicidal, who’s really on the verge of something like that. It’s the entire gambit of issues that someone could be facing that these students help us address,” said Kennedy.
Students also help people search for jobs, access healthcare, and find housing assistance.
It’s easy to see what IRC guests get out of the program. However, what’s equally important is that students get to see what a career in social work is like first-hand.
“Without this, there would be a significant service gap that we likely wouldn’t be able to fill for years,” said Kennedy.