For Public Service Recognition Week and beyond, our posts are highlighting the hard work of public servants across federal, state, and local governments. Join us in celebrating how their efforts make the everyday and the extraordinary #GovPossible!
This week, we’re featuring Michelle Rundles and Kamisha Bailey, Case Managers at Tarrant County Community Development in Tarrant County, Texas, who are dedicated to homelessness prevention. In the first quarter of 2021, approximately 3,629 people experienced homelessness (people living on the street or in shelters) in the Tarrant County area Continuum of Care (source: Tarrant County Homeless Coalition). With the help of federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Michelle and Kamisha spend their days supporting and advocating for those in their community.
Case Managers Michelle Rundles and Kamisha Bailey of Tarrant County, Texas have dedicated their careers to homelessness prevention in their community.
For both Michelle Rundles and Kamisha Bailey, working with vulnerable populations isn’t just a job, it’s a calling. Michelle and Kamisha each came to Tarrant County Community Development with backgrounds in social work and a passion for helping others. Both women found themselves in the same office, managing different areas but working toward the common goal of gaining and sustaining housing for those in need.
Michelle is a Case Manager with the Homelessness Prevention program. She works with families on the cusp of becoming homeless and makes sure they’re able to sustain and resume their rent payments after their three months of assistance. She explained, “My clients are with me for a very short period of time. I try to make the biggest impact while they are with me so that they won’t return to the program. That is the goal!”
Kamisha is a Case Manager for the Rapid Rehousing program. She assists families who are currently experiencing homelessness. Providing support for up to two years, she coordinates all of the moving pieces required to help families experiencing homelessness to find housing and stay in it. Kamisha has managed some of Tarrant County’s trickiest rehousing cases over the years, including helping many women navigate domestic violence situations. She is constantly busy assessing new families for the Rapid Rehousing program, coordinating with shelters, and conducting home visits for her clients.
Michelle and Kamisha use their backgrounds in social work and many other skills to work together, always going above and beyond for their clients. “We’ve had several instances where we had to tag team,” Michelle noted as she shared about the value of brainstorming creative solutions to help families get back on track. Given their individual caseloads, this collaboration is critical. At any given time, Kamisha is serving up to 30 families. At the height of the pandemic, Michelle was helping 35 clients at a time. “We make a big impact in this small office and I don’t think we realize how many lives we touch in a year,” Michelle mentioned as she reflected on their work together.