ASHLEIGH STARNES | November 27, 2019
Client Assistance Advocate Kelsie Matthews gives us a first-hand look into her day-to-day at AVLF.
ASHLEIGH STARNES: As the Community Assistance Advocate, what does your typical day look like?
KELSIE MATTHEWS: As the Community Assistance Advocate, I never have the same day twice. I am always getting to do something new. Some days I will go to eviction court to get an idea of what neighborhoods and areas are seeing the most evictions. Some days I will visit apartment complexes to let property managers know about our diversion funding so that we can get in contact with them before an eviction is even filed.
I might be at a local library speaking to people in the community, meeting with the heads or neighborhood associations, speaking to local nonprofits and organizations, or may be at an elementary school’s chili cook off.
I might be at a local library speaking to people in the community, meeting with the heads or neighborhood associations, speaking to local nonprofits and organizations, or may be at an elementary school’s chili cook off. When I am in the office, I am putting in client assistance requests to help residents that may be close to facing eviction.
I also spend a lot of time making follow up calls to guarantee that the help that we provide is successful.
AS: What is something you’ve experienced on the job that you’ll never forget? Good or bad?
KM: I had an absolutely fantastic client that I really enjoyed working with. We genuinely got along and still often call each other with little words of encouragement. Her heart and soul is truly unprecedented.
After AVLF had helped prevent her eviction, she gave me flowers and an adorable note from her children.
After AVLF had helped prevent her eviction, she gave me flowers and an adorable note from her children. She let me know how appreciative she was that it felt that someone had actually seen She has started to take the steps to back to school.
I’ll always remember her smile from that day because it was the most beautiful and authentic thing I have ever seen!
AS: Is there something you wish you could do to help your clients but you just don’t have the time / resources / etc. to help?
KM: I definitely wish I had more time to be able to actually get to know the clients that I work with.
I wish I had the chance to go to dinner with them, know their likes and dislikes, an embarrassing story from childhood, and more.
Usually, we only have the time to discuss something that has set them back or their current struggles. I wish I had the chance to go to dinner with them, know their likes and dislikes, an embarrassing story from childhood, and more.
Everyone I work with is a hard working individual with a whole story and life that I don’t know, and I would love to get to hear each and every one of their goals, accomplishments, and dreams.
AS: Any shout-outs you want to give?
KM: As cheesy as it sounds (I promise I’m writing this out of my own free will) I would like to thank AVLF.
I’m truly thankful to be here because every night I am able to go to bed knowing that I made a family’s day a little bit easier.
They’ve given me the opportunity to help so many people already, and I wake up every day knowing that I will get to help more. I’m truly thankful to be here because every night I am able to go to bed knowing that I made a family’s day a little bit easier. And if you have something like that, it doesn’t even feel like work.
Read more about our new client assistance program here.
Client Assistance Advocate
Kelsie attended Georgia State University where she studied Political Science. During this time, she became interested in social justice and began focusing on issues surrounding injustices against women and immigrant communities. She has over six years of experience advocating for healthcare for women and children. This is where she realized that inequity and corruption that goes beyond healthcare and wanted to continue to expand her horizons on ways that she could be of service to her community.
In her free time, Kelsie enjoys yoga, performing spoken word poetry, drumming, and photography. She believes that art can act as form of resistance to oppression.