By Annika Tomlin
Phoenix Rescue Mission Director of Community Engagement Jussane Goodman knows everyone needs a little help sometimes.
She needed direction after a hiccup at Arizona State University. However, it led to such a rewarding career that she didn’t look back.
“I was trying to get into the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, and they didn’t accept me because I didn’t have some communication classes,” says the former ASU student.
“I was asked, as a transfer student, to apply for a different degree, and then I could possibly apply and be transferred to the school. I did a semester in leadership and management of nonprofit organizations because I ended up in the wrong advisor’s office.
She previously volunteered with local nonprofit organizations before taking courses at the university level.
“I worked with young people who had aged outside of the foster care system,” Goodman says.
When she heard about the diploma, she said she would hold out for a semester.
“However, the semester it was very clear that this is exactly what I should be doing,” she said.
Goodman volunteered at various nonprofits including Phoenix Dreams Center and Young Life before joining Phoenix Rescue Mission.
“I also took a short-term mission trip to the LA Dreams Center and got to experience the Skid Row community there,” Goodman said.
“I just know that was the type of job that interested me, which involved working with homeless people. “
After graduation, Goodman worked as a housing specialist to help women find long-term housing outside of a homeless shelter. She has specialized in working with “women experiencing domestic violence or fleeing domestic violence situations, women with mental illness, women who have substance abuse issues” and a plethora of types of people within. the homeless population.
Another ASU alumnus and longtime friend told Goodman about the Phoenix rescue mission.
“There was a position at Phoenix Rescue Mission for the Community Connections Coordinator and I asked him about it,” Goodman said of his 2017 nonprofit membership. had been working for some time and he encouraged me to apply.
“I applied for the job and got hired. It allowed me to really work with the community and get to know the community. Get to know the different aspects of hunger insecurity, housing insecurity, the homeless community in general and the different sub-populations.
Through this role, Goodman joined regional efforts to find a solution to homelessness.
In 2019, Goodman was promoted to Street Approach Supervisor overseeing work under this program. Shortly thereafter, Goodman was appointed interim director. She was assigned to the post after a few months.
She oversees the Criminal Justice Program, Glendale Works, Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Mobile Pantry, Community Market, the growing Hope Coach Street Outreach team, and other programs.
“Maybe I’m a little different type of director, I like being in the weeds,” Goodman says. “I like to know what’s going on.
“I really enjoy helping my team. I like my team to feel supported. I barely sit at my computer all day.
Goodman stays on his toes between solving problems with his team, responding to emails, and staying in touch with the community at large.
“My day is really all over the place and I can do a little high level work, but I also do a little weed work,” Goodman says.
Although she has moved on to “heavier administrative work,” she still enjoys thinking with her team and providing them with the resources they need to be successful.
“I would say my favorite part of my job is supporting my team that works directly with people,” Goodman said. “I may not be able to interact with customers face to face, however, I can still be part of the day to day solutions.
“I sincerely believe in what we are doing here. I have seen people’s lives change and transform. I have seen people walk through the doors of our recovery program and take another person out and I have seen their hope restored.
Goodman says she finds it gratifying to see not only the whole person change, but also their emotional state towards the accommodation. Goodman also knows that working for a nonprofit in a supervisory role isn’t the easiest job.
“The hardest part is disconnecting customers,” says Goodman. She aspired to be in this role, but loves communicating with people who “are out in the grass and get down to business with (the clients) day in and day out”.
“Everyone engages in nonprofit work to help,” Goodman says. “It’s definitely not an area where you can go and get rich.
“Having these stories and experiences of how you impact is essential to keep going. It reminds you of why you do what you do and so I think it’s really important on the front of how difficult that position could be which is that connection between you and the clients.
Goodman has a post for students considering a career in the nonprofit sector or looking to help their community.
“I encourage students to volunteer,” she says. “I would have liked to have done this more. Volunteer wherever you can. Don’t volunteer at one location, but volunteer at tons of different organizations and ones that serve different populations. I think having that understanding of what you’re interested in doing as part of nonprofit capacity is just going to be of benefit to you.
Overall, Goodman couldn’t see himself in a different realm.
“It’s a really rewarding and fulfilling job,” says Goodman. “It’s hard work and sometimes hard work, but I think when you see something that you started and now see it as a program or service, you can really see all your hard work. stake.”
For more information on Phoenix Rescue Mission, visit phoenixrescuemission.org. CT