Chloe Neumann, a valuable staff for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary team, recently won an award for her commitment to ending youth homelessness.
She received an Arthur R. Smith Award in the Front-Line Employee category. The awards were created in the name of the Calgary Homeless Foundation to recognize and honour a front-line employee, a team and a volunteer who have demonstrated long-term commitment to Housing First and the goal to end homelessness.
All about Chloe
Chloe is a life-long learner, completing her Bachelors in Health Science with a degree in Addictions Counselling from the University of Lethbridge and completing the University of Calgary’s Homeless Population Certificate.
It was during her first practicum at Alpha House that she admired the compassion of people helping others.
Upon graduation, Chloe worked at a youth shelter, where she saw the unique needs and amazing possibilities of working with youth.
“I believe that the feeling of love, support and compassion is everyone’s right and that everyone deserves to be treated as a human. Sometimes we just need someone to walk a little ways with us.”
As she moved to the Youth Transition to Adulthood (YTA) program, she saw the impact when youth received long-term housing.
In January 2012, Chloe began her job with the 828-HOPE phone line at the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary (BGCC), where her real passion lies.
“I support young people when they are most vulnerable, providing them with some stability whether that is housing, school, family, employment or anything!”
Doing this job requires doing an assessment, having knowledge of the right programs and supports, making youth feel valued and supported, and tirelessly advocating on their behalf. Krista Mergel says, “She builds relationships with the youth that are encouraging and safe, and moves them from a place of coping to hoping.”
She meets with every youth that calls the phone line within 48 hours of their call.
“Chloe didn’t look at me like I was homeless, worthless, abandoned. Chloe gave me a reason to go to treatment, to attend counseling, to become independent, because she showed me what it would be like to go home,” said a former Avenue 15/Safehouse Youth Shelter client.
Chloe’s success also relies on her ability to be a bridge in the community. She is well known and respected for her knowledge of the resources for youth, and her efficient and timely follow up.
“Her professional and sunny demeanor supports close relationships to open doors for youth to access the supports they need,” said Jocelyn Adams, Manager of Youth Housing, BGCC.
In addition to working at BGCC, Chloe works at the Alex Youth Health Centre. She also is an avid volunteer, participating in Homeless Awareness Week, volunteering at the Youth Gear Up event, for the Face It Calgary public awareness campaign and at the point-in-time, and hosting six vulnerable youth at WeDay.