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Dec 15, 2017







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 What are you really interested in right now?

Stranger Things, Season 2.




Jennifer Chisholm
Behavioral health clinician for homeless

11/23/17



 Explain your current job.

I work for the Healthcare for the Homeless program and we’re integrated, meaning that we provide primary care with the doctors and nurses and stuff, but also provide mental or behavioral health components to it. So I do some therapeutic work, a lot of case management — like the practical stuff with helping people stay applied for Medicaid benefits and things like that — I do some drug and alcohol work, but a big part my job is also doing outreach in the community, looking to find people to offer them services. So I go out a few times a week to try to connect with potential clients or actual patients, whether that be out on the streets, at different agencies or down by the riverbanks and campsites. 
 
How long have you done this?
I was part-time for a year, about 12 hours a week. I quickly realized that they should probably have a full-time drug and alcohol counselor on board so [I] suggested that to the program director … who agreed. She found some grant money and was able to hire me on full-time. I think I’ve been full-time [for] almost two years.
 
How did you get interested in this field?
I think it would probably date back to undergrad college. I had done a lot of volunteer work. I was originally planning on being an English teacher and, through the volunteer work, I just got more interested in working with people and families. So when I came back to New Hampshire after college I got a job working with families with kids who were in the … juvenile court system … doing some prevention work. From there, I ended up getting really interested in youth homelessness, so I worked as a case manager for young adults … for Child and Family Services. 
 
What kind of education or training did you need for this?
When I got my master’s, I also decided to get licensed with my drug and alcohol stuff, along with my social work license. … My undergrad degree was in history and health policy. … A lot of it was sort of on-the-job training or taking a lot of the trainings that the state offers. … Then [I] decided in 2007 to go get my master’s degree in social work. … After that, it’s a lot of supervision hours and just continuing education. 
 
How did you find your current job?
It dates back to when I was working in the transitional living program. I happened to meet … our program director at some sort of collaboration meeting. She asked me to be on our advisory board. … They had just happened to have gotten a grant. They needed 12 hours from somebody, which was perfect, what I was looking for. 
 
What’s the best piece of work-related advice anyone’s ever given you?
One: Get to as many trainings as you can, to kind of expand your knowledge base. And two: New Hampshire is a small state so, network, network, network. 
 
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
I wish I had known I wanted to be a social worker. … I would have probably pursued my graduate degree in social work sooner.
 
What is your typical at-work uniform?
Business casual and kind of by the weather. … And sturdy shoes.
 
What was the first job you ever had?
D’Angelos in Milford, making subs. 
 
— Ryan Lessard 





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