Drowning in Encouragement
November 30, 2022
The Role of the CSM in the New Life Plan
Danny Anderson grew up in the Sandhills Region of North Carolina. When he moved to Raleigh, he worked at the Department of Agriculture and floated around to several different jobs – but wasn’t ever satisfied.
“I wasn’t happy,” he said. “It’s hard to explain, but it was a spiritual thing.”
Danny’s wife encouraged him to look into ministry, and he’s been with Raleigh Rescue Mission for about seven years. He started as Thrift Store Manager, running vocational training, volunteer coordination, community service, and a program with special needs students at Millbrook High School.
Four years ago, his position changed to case management at Raleigh Rescue Mission. The role is now called a Client Success Manager (CSM) and is the latest model for supporting New Life Plan clients.
The Mission currently has eight CSMs whose full-time jobs are to assist and walk through the entire New Life Plan with their assigned men or women, from when they inquire about the program to when they exit into aftercare.
The CSM role has recently been revamped to take a more holistic and relational approach to the clients’ support. Danny and the other CSMs are the first point of contact for up to 10 clients each, addressing their spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being.
Danny calls having this type of role in the New Life Plan “a brilliant move” because it gives the client the right tools to succeed. “This is the smartest thing I’ve been a part of in a while,” he said.
“As a Client Success Manager, Danny gets to know each client’s story,” said Steve Perdue, Chief Operating Officer at the Mission. “He engages with them individually by encouraging them to grow in the areas where they themselves need growth. This is always done from the posture of a friend, who like Jesus wants the best for them, even if it requires hard choices. Men respond to this kind of leadership. They want to follow and they want to change.”
“A lot of these guys will say they never really had healthy relationships until they got into the program and started dealing with their CSMs,” said Danny. “For me, the emphasis for me is building that relationship and trust and being very transparent.”
Danny and his clients talk about everything – healthy relationships, elocution and inflection when speaking, body language, acting professionally, self-image, substance abuse recovery, and organization. He’s helped them learn how to type, obtain a social security card or driver’s license, and take the GED test.
He emphasizes that the situations clients are in doesn’t define them. “The situation is what it is, but these people are worth every fiber of how they’ve been created,” said Danny. “We’re all created in the Lord’s image.”
“The people that need the most change are the people who are considered to be at the bottom. The people who have never experienced love in this fashion,” he continues. “We’re communicating that God loves them and that there’s something about you that is the essence of the creator of everything in this universe. By repeating that and proclaiming that, you actually live it.”
The change Danny sees is real, as he watches his clients’ body language quietly change, their pride after a win – anything where they’re taking ownership of their own success. It’s these small moments that make the role personally rewarding. Though it takes a toll when a client doesn’t finish the program, especially if Danny and the client have worked closely together for months on what success looks like for that individual.
“I have to trust that God knows exactly what He’s doing and He’s got them covered, and that the client is going to live up to the standard and expectations that we set for him, and that he picked up everything he needed to get to the next level,” said Danny.
Danny finds encouragement and support through his peers, as well as the whole Raleigh Rescue Mission team. He feels being a CSM has helped him become more self-disciplined, and he sees the value of people more – including himself.
“This is a place of healing not just for the clients, but for the staff,” he said. “I didn’t take this job being a perfect anything. The same decisions that these guys have made, I have thought about making or have made. I’ve been fortunate enough to have support through relationships and my faith and the Lord bringing me full circle. He allows me to see things from the other side.”