The Duluth woman said a community health worker could be one way to keep her motivated. “Anything and everything is a challenge when you’re doing it on your own,” Sheard said.
Or the worker could help guide her to programs. Vickie Meyers wants to be that person. “I love helping people. I’ve been helping people since I was 14 years old.” She’s the community health worker intern at Community Action Duluth.
CAD’s Executive Director, Jeff Longenecker, said, “We saw a need for this role before COVID. Our coaches work with participants on jobs and transportation. And this is way to help them reach their healthiest selves, by helping them break down barriers to whatever is keeping them from being healthy.”
He said it might mean assistance with stabile housing, mental health counselors, or even help finding a dietician.
They have five women taking an online class, and they will have their certificates in September.
Meyers said she’s learning about infants and adolescents right now. She hopes to be able to help young mothers who may not have insurance, because she’s been in that boat. “I know I was struggling with having no insurance, and it was very scary.”
The plan is for CAD to hire one or two of the women, and the others will hopefully find work at another agency. “I want to see people succeed,” added Meyers.