40 Stories - Jenell Jackson
Gwinnett Supportive Housing Advocate
When Jenell relocated to Atlanta in 2014, she was hopeful she could continue to the work she’d done in Florida, serving victims of domestic violence. Jenell was delighted when she was able to join PADV as a Shelter Advocate, serving as the first voice people heard when they called the crisis line and the first smiling face they met when they came into the shelter.
In 2016 Jenell accepted the position of PADV Supportive Housing Advocate. In this new role, Jenell serves clients living in our Gwinnett supportive housing program. Services provided include transitional housing in community-based apartments, and utility, childcare, employment, legal, educational, and financial assistance. Jenell meets with her clients a minimum of once a month and maintains a strong relationship with every client that allows them to reach out to her whenever they are in need.
Jenell works hard to remove barriers for women suffering from the after-effects of domestic violence. It is not unusual for clients to call her late at night with anxiety of living on their own for the first time, fear of their abuser finding them, or seeking tips on forming new healthy relationships.
To Jenell faith is supremely important. “I feel like I’m doing God’s work and I am able to be an instrument of God. People are praying for resources and God connects them with me”, said Jenell.
As a domestic violence survivor herself, the work of PADV is personal. Through Jenell’s experience, she saw that domestic violence has no particular face, religion, income level, or color. It affects everyone. Her experience allows her to put herself in the shoes of her clients, helping her better hear their needs, frustrations and challenges.
Jenell wants everyone to know that “We are here to help. Our leadership has provided the necessary resources for us to do great work and to help you. The staff is happy and it shows in our work. There are services and resources available to you despite what you may think or any pre-conceived notions. All you need to do is reach out.”