Monday, February 23, 2009

Social Workers

I'm feeling a bit teary today. One of Josh's co-workers was shot and killed this morning at his place of employment. For those of you that don't know, Josh works at the largest homeless shelter in the state of Arizona, CASS. It is awfully scary to hear that one of his co-workers got shot just doing his regular day-to-day job. I send my best wishes and warmest thoughts to Kevin Collin's family. I don't know what I'd do if I got a phone call that Joshua had been shot at work, and I don't even like to think that it is a possibility. Thank goodness for social workers who put their lives on the line everyday just like police officers or firemen. They are the unseen warriors that work to make the community a better place to live and they really don't get the credit that they deserve.

In memory of Kevin Collins by CASS

Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) continues to mourn the loss of Mr. Kevin Collins who died Monday after being fatally wounded on the Human Services Campus.

We at CASS had the absolute pleasure of working with Kevin for the past five years. During this time, Kevin’s caring and professional manner resulted in his receipt of numerous CASS “Above the Call of Duty” and “Everyday Excellence” awards.

Always with a smile on his face and a “hello” for everyone, Kevin was a patient man who was a trusted staff member, as well as, a friend and supporter to many of the homeless men and women served by CASS. Kevin was always willing to stop and help a client solve a problem. As one client remarked, “he was one of the best.”

Kevin’s patient manner and his ability to problem solve often placed him in a leadership role as CASS and the Human Services Campus piloted new services. Kevin was one of two shelter managers responsible for the opening of what is now known as the Men’s Outreach Shelter. In a similar manner, Kevin helped manage the weekend operations of the Lodestar Day Resource Center when it first began operations three years ago.

Kevin’s thoughtfulness and commitment to helping those in need extended beyond CASS’ walls. Originally from Window Rock and a member of the Navajo Nation, Kevin remained concerned about the needs of his tribal community. Years ago, as CASS moved from its first location to a new building on the Human Services Campus, Kevin dismantled and moved a large commercial water heater to an older building without sufficient hot water located in the Window Rock community.

Kevin’s commitment to his fellow CASS staff members and to client safety was evident in even his final minutes. Although mortally wounded, Kevin was the first to alert staff to the incident and to make the first call to 911. This care, concern and compassion for his fellow staffers and clients will be remembered and treasured.

The Collins family has established an account in Kevin’s name at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union.

CONTACT: Jennifer Dangremond
602-256-6945, Ext. 3025
230 S. 12th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ

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