Yessica Molina is the Senior Director of Case Management at Mission of Love Charities (MOLC). She began her journey to this position in 2019, when she started as an Assistant Case Manager. In this role, she learned about work for underserved populations and how to complete tasks associated with the job. Since then, she has been promoted and is now the Senior Director of Case Management.
As Senior Director of Case Management, Molina has quite a few duties. First, she performs an assessment on clients to find out exactly when they need. Then she gets to work in providing services like applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing and Medicaid benefits. There are other tasks the Senior Director of Case Management must complete. “I send reports to Department of Human Services (DHS) and oversee the Senior Program for the grant from the National Council on Aging,” said Molina. The National Council on Aging grant involves going out into the community to inform seniors about SNAP benefits and the Food Pantry. This program calls for the completion of 20 SNAP applications per month, and Molina is hard at work making sure this happens.
Molina is from Columbia and she is bilingual in English and Spanish. Part of her job is to coordinate with another bilingual Case Manager – working with the Spanish speaking clients who cannot speak English. In this role, she helps the Spanish speaking population to navigate the system, which can be a complex task at times. Molina helps them apply for benefits and can even assist in getting children enrolled in school. “Recently I have been helping them apply for citizenship. There’s an online application,” says Molina. She assists Spanish speaking clients to fill out the application so they can. become full-fledged citizens of the United States and receive the benefits they are entitled to get.
In another role as Senior Director of Case Management, she oversees the Assistance in Community Integration (ACIS) program. This involves working with the homeless population to obtain housing and other benefits. These clients have Medicaid and are entitled to certain programs to assist them in daily living. “We supervise all kinds of services for them to get off the streets,” says Molina. Throughout her workday, Molina also supervises the work of Case Managers, Jatmna Polanco and Michelle Person, in conjunction with Gregory Torrence, the Director of Outreach.
Out of all of her duties, Molina says she enjoys obtaining housing for the homeless the most. “Imagine being homeless for five years and then finally getting to be in your own home,” says Molina. “I just had a client who applied for an apartment. We assisted her with the application. She just got a call and she will have her apartment in a week or two. She has been homeless for eight or nine years,” commented Molina. She says the smiles on their faces when they receive a home are satisfying for her.
Molina’s work involves many challenges. One of the greatest challenges is, “Not getting too involved with people’s personal issues. I have to try to understand they are my clients. It can be stressful,” says Molina. This is clearly the most difficult part of her job. She must maintain a professional pose in order to help people and stand back when it is clear they do not want benefits or special services.
As far as her education, Molina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the Foundation University Maria Cano in Medellin, Colombia. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Social Work. Most likely Molina will complete her Master’s Degree by the end of 2024.
Molina’s home country is Columbia, and she says her background helps her in her daily work. “I was born in a family that was struggling. I remember that my mother and father used to struggle. People just need help to get by in life. My family received help from the government,” says Molina. This background gives her a deeper understanding of her clients’ own challenges. She has empathy for them. It’s also because of a special program for low- income families that Molina was able to go to college and obtain her Bachelor’s Degree. All of this adds up to an employee who is uniquely suited for her job.
Molina tries to visit her family twice a year. When she is in the United States, “Whenever they need help, I am always there to help them,” she says. Molina never forgets her origins and is a person of great strength when it comes to her family.
Molina lives in Silver Springs, Maryland. In her spare times she enjoys walking and even going for a hike.
Molina says, “I am happy to be able to work for an organization like MOLC.” She came to the United States in 2017. Since then she has learned a great deal. “I have learned a lot working with Deb Martinez, the CEO of MOLC,” commented Molina.
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