Shantie Chattergoon, born and raised far from New York, uses her job as a receptionist to make sure that all feel at home in the Homes for the Homeless central office.
Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, in 1987 Chattergoon’s husband got a job that moved the couple and their children to New York.
“It was a little difficult adjusting work-wise,” says Chattergoon, but, “when you have commitments you have to adapt.”
And adapt she did. Chattergoon worked for 5-½ years as a home care aid, before moving on to a job as a receptionist for Campus Crusade for Christ. This organization, she explains, “partnered with a lot of churches (where) the people, they needed help.”
Chattergoon views her current position at Homes for the Homeless in a similar way. “What we do to help other people, is in relation to that,” she says.
“Shantie is always so happy and positive,” says Gregory Essenpreis, of HFH camps. This disposition serves her well in her current position, as she acts as the first voice people hear when they call the Homes for the Homeless office. Chattergoon is often contacted by people seeking shelter. She provides a kind listening ear and helps refer them to DHS services.
She also greets everyone who makes their way through the central office doors. “I like interacting with people,” she explains, “you know, some people, maybe they are having a bad day and they would love someone to say ‘how are you today?’”
The enjoyment Chattergoon takes from her job doesn’t go unnoticed. “She has a sunny disposition and is a consummate professional,” says coworker Cindy Folson, “She is exactly the type of person you want people to have their first interaction with.”