This is a series on runners participating in the 3rd Annual Dean of Students Half Marathon Challenge on November 14, 2010. Laura Yeo Perez graduated in 2006 with a BA in Sociology. She grew up in Houston but lives in San Antonio now. Laura is an LMSW, works as a case manager at Haven for Hope. (Laura is pictured above after finishing the marathon in 2009. She is on the right with Trinity alum Elyza Sanchez, shown left.)
Your job overlaps directly with out food drive mission as the charity we do for our run. What do you do at Haven for Hope?
I work with about 45 single adult men and women, helping them navigate their way out of homelessness by working with them to create a vision for what they would like their lives to be, establishing a plan on how to get there, taking action on that plan, and eventually transitioning out of homelessness.
What is it like working there?
Never a dull moment! The homeless individuals that I work with are all incredibly diverse and have very different needs, but I am lucky to be a member of a great team of case managers, and part of an incredible network of partners that provide everything from counseling to resume writing to culinary arts training.
How important is it to feed those in need?
Without the proper fuel, it's impossible to search for a job, go to school, go to work... anything. The meals that the San Antonio Food Bank provide to the members at H4H as well as to the community of San Antonio are intended to be a catalyst for self improvement and reaching goals for a better future.
What connection do you see between running and the food drive?
We have a running group at Haven, called Street2Feet. The physical and emotional benefits to the homeless members of this group are AMAZING.... and a huge part of it is the lifestyle shift to conscious healthy eating, which the food bank provides through their meals and donated food to the community.