WHEELING - A local program monitoring client income was recently recognized for providing innovative and successful service to homeless people. The work of Janet Boyuk, a case manager at the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless, was cited in academic research by the Center for Social Innovation in Massachusetts.
Writing about successful strategies funded by the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness [PATH] program, Melissa Martin described Boyuk’s success in enrolling clients in a payee program providing oversight and guidance dealing with their financial income.
Boyuk explained that many Coalition clients become homeless after experiencing difficulty managing their finances, often due to substance abuse issues or mental health problems. Helping clients to learn effective methods of budgeting their money is an important step in ending their homelessness.
“It’s a step forward,” Boyuk said. “People who’ve accepted the program are glad and appreciative it’s here. A lot of them have never been able to establish a savings.”
“People don’t know how to manage their money and don’t know how to manage their life,” agreed Jack Tucker, 66, a participant in the program. “A lot of people get behind on their bills or rent and then they end up on the streets.”
Tucker said he’s managed to build up a considerable savings since enrolling in the program almost two years ago. Working with Boyuk helps to not only budget his income but also maintain sobriety and fully weigh the outcome of his decisions before acting on them.
Despite the success Boyuk and her clients have experienced, it can sometimes be difficult to convince clients to accept this degree of oversight of their finances.
“They don’t want no one messing with their money,” Tucker said with a shake of their head. “But they can’t do it alone.
“When you’ve got some support, it’s a lot easier,” he said. “Janet’s the best – I couldn’t make it without her.”
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