Having Time to Dig Deeper Gives Social Services Coordinator, Louise McCrorie the Answers She Needs to Help Link Clients to More Resources

Spend just a few minutes with Louise McCrorie and you believe that she could single-handedly change the world. Or, at the very least, make a tremendous difference in the lives of local families struggling to make ends meet. Since joining the Loaves & Fishes team in March as one of our front line receptionists, she has been a voice of calm reassurance for panicked parents and struggling individuals worried where their next meal is going to come from. Thanks to funding from CARES ACT grant from Mecklenburg Co., we were able to fulfill a long time goal of having a social worker on staff and move Louise from Receptionist into the brand new role of Social Services Coordinator.

A retired social worker from the Department of Social Services (DSS) with a Masters in Social Work as well as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Louise knows how to navigate the often confusing system of support services.  Due to COVID-19, many of our clients are now in a situation of needing help for the very first time and have no idea where to start. For them, Louise is a lifeline – not just to food but for connecting them with other resources.

Each and every day, Louise is able to go beyond making a food referral and dig deeper. She just received a call from a woman in need of food. As they talked, she found out that the woman had lost her job due to COVID and is currently homeless, having just been evicted from the hotel where she was living. Not only was Louise able to make a first time food referral for her, but she was able to connect her to Crisis Assistance Ministry and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to help find alternative housing.

As Louise says, “That’s the glory of this position. Having the time to ask the one, two or three questions to get the rest of the story and link them to other resources.”

“Everyday is an amazing day.”, shares Louise. “But Friday afternoon brought me to tears.”

“Everyday is an amazing day.”, shares Louise. “But Friday afternoon brought me to tears.”

“First, DSS called to see if we could somehow do an emergency home delivery for a 77 year old gentleman whose kitchen had burned.  He had a Foreman grille on the porch and a freezer in the living room.  He cannot get a driver’s license so he uses a moped.  He is very independent and does not like to take assistance.  He has no glass in his windows and no AC.  The Red Cross was able to get him a fan to try and help with the summer heat. He was trying to do all his repair work himself.  One of our staff members was able to run a week’s worth of groceries over to him as it was a Friday afternoon and we were about to close for the weekend. By meeting this very basic need, we were able to turn this into self-empowerment situation allowing him to agree to having a social worker to assist him in accessing additional services, preserving his dignity and allowing him to stay in his home. 

About an hour later, I got another call from DSS.  A 65 year old woman with 5 chronic illnesses who found herself caregiver for three teenagers after her daughter, who lived in another county, was sent to jail.  We were able to deliver food to the family to avert a critical situation.  Protective Services was going to be contacted to help the grandmother access services for the children, including enrolling them in school.

All in all , an interesting day!”

What a blessing to have Louise and her wealth of social services knowledge on our team making a difference every day for our neighbors in need!

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