The doors of Connections of Cumberland County in Fayetteville, North Carolina were opened in July of 2014. Connections caters to women and children in Cumberland County. With poverty being prominent in downtown Fayetteville, Connections is somewhat of a safe haven for women and children in need of basic necessities. At connections, the mission is to collaborate with all community resources to empower women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to become self reliant.
The services offered at Connections are as follows; Day resource center with case management, Connect-2-Redirect Program (C2R), and the intern learning lab. Among the many faces at Connections, there is intern, Charmaile Pennie. She works alongside the case workers at Connections. As an intern Charmaile Is allowed the opportunity to experience real life cases and build her skill set. She is a master level social work student, so her knowledge in the field is fresh. After several sit downs and phone conversations, in a self recorded response to interview questions, Charmaile addressed what Connections is all about and what her primary tasks as an intern include.
There are many different types of women that come to Connections seeking help. “They all have a different story”, Pennie said.
Charmaile went into the field of social work because her grandparents taught her to be a good Samaritan. At Connections, she provides case management, and assisting in the day resource center.
“This is truly calling for life, it’s all a part of a bigger plan” Pennie said.
Last year Connections of Cumberland was recognized by the local newspaper, The Fayetteville
Observer. Their efforts to grow with the homeless have brought positive attention their way.
“It’ s really a great place. I like to help people so this internship allows me to do that”, Pennie said.
Charmaile is a professional in her own way because she has studied homelessness and poverty for many years. As she works toward earning more degree’s she is increasing her knowledge of these subjects and making plans to effectively change her community.
The internship with Connections has placed Charmaile on a professional level because she deals one on one, face to face, with women who are homeless and in need of assistance. She knows first hand what can be done to help them in their current situations.
When Charmaile goes out to begin her career, having Connections of Cumberland County on her resume will be a major plus. She is receiving top of the line experience In the field of social work.
“I have two daughters and they are my motivation”, Pennie said.
Charmaile can be contacted on her personal Facebook page.