In his most famous play, Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” At Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, our answer is, “quite a bit.” And it takes a staff of more than 300 people with a wide variety of skills to do our work.
Charity can sound like an old-fashioned word, especially when we think of Abraham Lincoln using it in his second inaugural address to encourage “malice toward none, charity for all.” It can also sound straightforward in nature, conjuring images of the soup line at your local food bank. In reality, charity is a complex system that takes multidisciplinary professionals to administer.
Serving meals is an essential piece of several of our programs. But it’s only the start of what we do. We pack quite a bit into those three little syllables, “Cha-ri-ties.”
In our organization, charity means envisioning a justice-oriented world that promotes life and dignity, creating programs to support that world, and advocating for clients to provide them hope that they can get there. For example, when we give an apartment to a family that was experiencing homelessness, we do it so they can work toward the health, education or professional goals that will help the family members lead the stable life they want.
One test of whether we are creating a justice-oriented world is if we are relying on everyone’s unique gifts to build it. Housing is a great example. Many of our properties need all of the following types of people to keep operating smoothly:
Property managers bring a high-degree of management and administrative skills to their job. They manage housing applications and oversee the move-in and move-out process for residents in accordance with state and federal law. They also enforce property rules.
Property technicians make sure that building stays in working order. They maintain and fix mechanical systems and repair damage to the property. They usually have a background in the trades and experience managing buildings.
Janitors make sure that our properties are safe and clean for residents. They also have experience working in buildings and bring environmental service skills.
Social service coordinators give life to our housing communities. They draw on their social and organizational skills to make sure residents, many of whom are elderly or living with a disability, have opportunities to get out and socialize. They need strong interpersonal skills.
Case managers work with residents to understand their goals and refer them to services that can help them achieve those goals. The services might be medical, educational or vocational. They usually have a social work background.
Counselors help residents improve their mental or behavioral health. They bring education, training and certification in psychology and related fields and have expertise in mental health.
Child care workers staff on-site early learning centers at The Sisters Haven. They are trained and certified educators who have a passion for teaching.
That just covers the building itself. To support these professionals, Catholic Charities keeps a staff of administrative professionals who manage the finances of the buildings and the HR needs of staff. We have fundraisers who make sure we have money to keep the property going and communicators who let the public know about the important work being done there.
Would you like to join us? We’re a growing organization, and we have many of these positions open now. Check out a list of current job openings our website!