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Above & Beyond for Those We Serve

As a supporter of Montrose Counseling Center, we bet you’re familiar with the Rainbow of Services we offer. You may even be able to recite our list of programs. From counseling to case management, treatment to prevention, seniors to youth, we do what we can to meet the changing needs of Houston’s GLBT communities. Sometimes this means going above and beyond to help – to accomplish things that don’t easily fit into any list.

It means recognizing the barriers that may be stopping a client from progressing in their recovery and doing whatever’s necessary to remove those barriers. This can mean anything, from taking care of client’s pet to helping someone clean out a house that has become unmanageable. These are just two examples of what our dedicated team does for the clients we serve.

For months during her HIV prevention work, Outreach Worker Erica Fleeks-Mallet came across Sue. Each time when Erica talked to Sue about services we offer, it seemed like Sue wasn’t interested in improving her own quality of life. Instead, she was insistent that her dog Tootsie was the one who needed assistance – with medical care and basic supplies. It became clear that, before we could take care of Sue’s needs, we would need to establish Sue’s trust by taking care of Tootsie. Erica approached a local pet store to advocate on their behalf. Before long, she had gotten the store to agree to take care of Tootsie’s immediate health care needs, as well as to provide Sue with basic dog supplies. Now that Tootsie’s been taken care of, Sue is accepting the help we’re offering. Both she and Tootsie are leading happier, healthier lives.

As a case manager Erin Weitenhagen works with her clients to provide support and assistance to get their needs met. Each client is different, and Erin is used to being accommodating, accompanying some clients to medical appointments, making home visits to those with mobility issues, budget planning, making appropriate referrals, etc. So when Ben, a disabled senior, explained that his most pressing concern was the fact that bedbugs were overtaking his home, Erin’s reaction was, “What can we do to help?” It quickly became clear that a large part of the problem was all the clutter that had accumulated in Ben’s home, which he was unable to manage due to mobility issues. His apartment complex was willing to pay for fumigation, but this wasn’t possible in the apartment’s current state. Erin organized a team of volunteers, who helped Ben dispose of a lot of items and organize everything else. After their hard work, the fumigators were able to make their way into each room, eliminating the bedbug infestation. Ben is very happy to remain in his apartment and is enjoying its much-improved state. He is now able to access the resources he needs and attends SPRY groups, where he socializes with other seniors.

Thank you for supporting Montrose Counseling Center. It is because of individuals like you that we have the ability to provide whatever help our clients need. If you’ve already given this year, we sincerely thank you for making these efforts possible. If you haven’t given yet, we ask you to consider making an investment in our work. Whether it’s a gift of $20, $200, or $2,000, you can rest assured that 90% of every gift goes to direct client services. If it’s more convenient, you may spread out your gift by setting up a recurring donation.

Maybe you’re not in a position to be able to make a financial gift, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help. Become more informed and help us spread the word!

To learn more about the services we provide – our emergency shelter program, outreach work with GLBT street youth, work with the HIV prison population, etc. – please contact Community Projects Specialist Meleah Jones at 713.800.0872 to schedule a Behind-the-Scenes Tour.

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