Kineesha Heyliger, Crisis Care Professional

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1. How would you describe your job in a few words to a stranger? 

I work at Act Together, a co-ed emergency shelter for youth ages 11-17 who are experiencing homelessness for various reasons.

2.  What’s your typical day at work like?

My typical day at work looks like reviewing the communication log to prepare myself for the day, providing direct care to youth, and ensuring their day-to-day needs are met, all while providing support and structure, processing referrals, responding to calls/emails, connecting with professionals and legal guardians to achieve a common goal for the client, and making sure there is a smooth transition into the next shift.

3. What is your favorite thing about working with Youth Focus?

My favorite thing about working at Youth focus is our inclusive and diverse workplace. Everyone has the opportunity to express themselves and is accepted no matter their beliefs or lifestyles. Youth Focus is also a great learning opportunity and a place to gain knowledge and experience.

4. What is one thing you wish more people knew about Youth Focus?

One thing I wish the general public knew is that everything is not always about crisis, paperwork, or just a place to lay your head. Yes, we support youth in need, but we also love to have fun, provide various beneficial services and resources, and see their smiling faces.

5.  What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

My best advice was that “It is okay to make a mistake because we learn from them. We are lifelong learners.” This advice came from multiple people I’ve encountered, especially Youth Focus staff.

6. What advice would you give to your teenage self?

The advice I would give to my teenage self is, ” Don’t rush time. Everything will fall into place when the time is right.”

 7. What’s the biggest misconception people have about teens and young adults today?

The biggest misconception people have about the youth I work with is that they are all bad kids. This is not true; these youth have experienced things in their life that some people were fortunate not to. Some of these behaviors arise from their trauma, not just because they want to be deviant.

8. What’s one song you have completely memorized?

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