People of Housing Security:
Success Coach at WellSpring makes a difference in the lives around her, helping strengthen housing security in South Central Indiana.
Sometimes, one experience can change the trajectory of someone’s life.
For Melody Zempel, this was exactly the case. Once she began volunteering by leading a bible study at the local jail in Martinsville, Melody knew she wanted to do something bigger than herself.
This led to Melody leaving a job at her local school and beginning work as a recovery coach at Magdalene House, a women’s shelter in Martinsville. She worked here for five years before moving to her current position at WellSpring.
Melody serves as a success coach at WellSpring, a Martinsville emergency shelter and provider of permanent supportive housing. Melody says that WellSpring prefers to use the term success coach as opposed to case manager. This is because “people aren’t cases, they are people,” she says. Along with this, WellSpring staff are not “managing,” but rather coaching people towards success.
Melody’s day-to-day work typically includes meeting with families who are in WellSpring’s emergency shelter as well as families who are in their permanent supportive housing program, HopeSpring. She helps assist with practical needs and obstacles that may arise for people staying at the shelter. This may include helping families find permanent housing, seeking childcare, and assisting with paperwork. However, sometimes it is less formal. Often, Melody will assist people with needs that they share with her when randomly passing in the hallways.
When success coaching, Melody uses The 7 Dimensions of Wellness in order to set goals in all areas of life. After these sessions, Melody is able to follow up with the families on what was discussed in the meetings, and how to best meet those needs and reach their goals.
Melody wishes that people in the community understood how easy it can be to become housing insecure.
“Addiction affects everyone. We are one medical crisis, one lost job, and one hiccup away from being in the same boat.”
On difficult days, Melody is motivated by her privilege of being white and middle class. Because she was born with family and resources, she feels privileged to have the basic resources she needs to live a happy and healthy life. This privilege encourages her to keep going and supporting those that need help gaining access to those resources. Melody is also motivated by the people she has worked with who are now living their best lives.
Despite working in a field that involves a lot of socialization, Melody says she is a true introvert. When she is not working, she enjoys taking some time to soak in the peace and quiet, and recharge for the next work day. Along with this, Melody also enjoys volunteering, reading, puzzling, and exercising.
Melody is making a difference in housing security each day through her relentless effort and positive attitude.
About the People of Housing Security: This series highlights the work of those committed to improving the lives of residents in South Central Indiana. Find all the articles in this series here.