Meet Lisa Eldridge, a Case Coordinator in our Supported Living program within Human Services. Lisa loves her job helping people with mental health issues lead fulfilling lives.
Her love of the work grows out of her experience growing up in rural West Virginia.
“I had a good upbringing but there were challenges for me growing up,” she recalls. “Overcoming those and being a witness to those helped me appreciate the need to look out for the underdog.”
Lisa has been with Humanim for nearly 23 years, beginning her career with the company as a residential counselor. In her current position, she plays many roles as she works with a group of 16 clients in the Columbia area, many of them older.
She helps them make and get to doctor’s appointments or to follow a doctor’s recommendations. She serves as an intermediary to coordinate care between different providers and helps clients certify their enrollment in various public support services. Sometimes, she helps clients make a shopping list and go to the grocery store; at others, she is called on to help deal with a crisis.
“When something comes up that is overwhelming, I help them navigate through that,” she says. “Each individual is different. My goal is to promote their independence. But you have to meet each of them where they are.”
“It’s a very humbling, rewarding position,” she adds. “The best part is empowering them and letting them know they’re not just a diagnosis. They’re seen and heard and cared for. I am blessed with the opportunity to hopefully make a difference. As humans, we are put here to serve others, not ourselves.”
When she’s not supporting clients, she loves to spend time with her family – watching football and cooking. In the kitchen, she’s famous in the family for winging it – making up recipes as she goes along.
“I never write it down. They’ll say, ‘that was so good.’ I say, ‘I hope you enjoy it cause I’m not ever doing it again. I have no idea what I put in there.’”
A self-described country girl, Lisa also loves gardening – “playing in the dirt” – and spending time in the West Virginia mountains with her family.
For the past year and a half, Lisa has dealt with physical issues and is grateful for the support of her Humanim team. “There’s been a lot of good coming out of it. I’ve been so blessed. I can’t even explain how great my support system was.”
The experience has only solidified her belief in service. “A lot of people go through life in a job they dislike and it’s just clock in clock out. I can really say, while the job isn’t perfect, each day is different, and I get to do what I like doing: help others and be rewarded.”