Graduate student volunteers at HOTEL INC
- Author: Lauren Weitlauf
- Author: Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
Elisabeth Hix, a graduate student from Bowling Green, Ky., continually challenges herself to find solutions to help her hometown. In 2012, Hix discovered her interest in understanding the root causes of homelessness, addiction, and mental illness and began volunteering at a local non-profit, HOTEL INC, which serves low-income and homeless Warren County citizens.
During her tenure at the organization, Hix joined WKU’s Addictions Education certification track to learn how to better serve her clientele. While in her courses, she realized a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling could offer means to address addiction processes and mental health disorders – both prevalent in homeless populations. Eight years later, Hix still serves these vulnerable communities and now works as the non-profits counseling intern where she provides a stabilizing process for those in crisis.
“As a counseling intern, I am able to work one-on-one with clients on a therapeutic level,” Hix said. “In this role, I am able to connect with individuals in relieving symptoms associated with housing instability and homelessness.”
In addition to finding solutions for homelessness, Hix hopes to reduce the stigma of mental health and addiction within this vulnerable population.
“In taking a holistic approach to addressing the multitude of needs that those experiencing homelessness may want to resolve, mental health is a key component,” Hix said. “The unique needs of these special populations require both a traditional means of care but also a willingness to adapt delivery of service to meet people where they are."
Hix is in her last year of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and looks forward to further assisting her clients during what she describes as “some of the most challenging moments of their lives.”
“The opportunity to allow access to care is a gap that many of us have dreamed to one day offer here at HOTEL INC,” Hix said. “I love exploring root causes of issues that people are experiencing and helping them to develop an action plan to change whatever it is that they what to change. To be able to witness this change and be a small part of it is a blessing.”
HOTEL INC provides food security, housing and homeless services, and street medicine in Warren County, Kentucky. To volunteer, please visit https://hotelincbg.com/contact-us/.
For more information on WKU’s Addictions Education Certificate Program or Clinical Mental Health counseling, please contact Jill Sauerheber at firstname.lastname@example.org.