What does it take to have a positive impact on someone’s life? MPTF’s Community Social Workers figure that out every day helping our industry members and their families with a broad range of programs and services and referrals. “I’ve always been someone people relied on for advice, even when I was younger,” says Juan Oliva, MFT (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist) at MPTF. Originally from El Salvador, Juan came to MPTF in 1986 and got his Masters while working in the Activities department for our Long-Term Care facility. Now he does clinical case management and supportive counseling, serving industry members aged 18-64 with everything from financial services to grief counseling. In one day, Juan turned around the lives of an industry union member and his wife, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was going through a mastectomy. Faced with time off from work, medical expenses, and a major income gap, they were set up with an MPTF grant to help with monthly living expenses through the recovery process.
For clients 65 and older, Renee Gates, LCSW, CSW-G is here for the entertainment community from Calabasas to the Northern California border. Renee was first hired by MPTF for our Elder Connection program for retired industry members as well as parents of working members. “One way or another, we find the resources they need in the community,” she explains, “whether it’s a home health agency or a gym.” With nearly 100 clients, she talks to many of them daily to find resources and referrals for a variety of challenges. Recently Renee turned around the life of a client who was homeless, living in a car with her daughter and grandson. “I was able to get them support to get housing,” Renee says, “and they’re secure in their home environment now.” All our social workers are learning every day, too, thanks to the life challenges that emerge; as Juan observes, “MPTF is over 100 years old, and we continue to evolve.” In honor of Social Work Month, thank you to all our social workers for their hard work and infinite compassion. If you need us today, or think you may need us in the near future, click here and get in touch. We are here for you.