Last week, I had the honor of interviewing our own Stephanie Newman for the Mental Health Download. Stephanie has been with the Association since 2017, starting as a Housing Support Specialist before earning a promotion to Street Outreach and Rapid Response Case Manager – a move that has allowed her to truly shine.
Stephanie is a leader in our community, working diligently with her team to help the most vulnerable get stably housed so they can more safely navigate their road to recovery and self-sustainability. Her knowledge is encouraging, her passion inspirational, and her ability to connect with participants is a clear and necessary gift for the work that she does.
I already knew all of this, though.
I knew it from others, and then I really got to know it on a ride-along one cold, December morning. Stephanie’s eagle-like eyes would scan the nooks and crannies of Oklahoma City quietly – imperceptibly even – until she spotted an area indicating unhoused human habitation and sudden animation would give her away.
Clearly her passion has roots. “Where do they begin?” I mused.
Her short answer: lived experience.
The longer answer: it can be heard on the latest episode of the Mental Health Download where Stephanie talks in depth about her own period of living on the streets. She knows how tragic it is to survive the extremes of human experience, and she works tirelessly to help others eschew the same. I hope you’ll listen, share, and be moved by the kindness humans can offer, even upon the heels of hardship. I sure was.