Homeless Outreach Specialist Bill Cobun received the In the Trenches Award from the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless on April 5. Bill has been with Capital Crossroads and Discovery SIDs since 2011. He joined the team as a cleaning and safety ambassador. Because of his empathetic nature, he quickly became known as the person to go to when someone needed assistance and outreach services were unavailable. When an outreach specialist position became available, staff immediately thought of Bill because of his passion for helping others. While he wasn’t a licensed social worker (LISW) and wasn’t familiar with all aspects of the social service field, his ability to connect with diverse groups of people and his motivation to learn made him a natural fit for the job.
Bill has been in the position for over three years. He and his partner Keith Severs moved over 80 people off the downtown streets and into permanent housing last year. Bill has an outstanding reputation in the social service community and is respected by people who have experienced homelessness. He does an outstanding job advocating for his clients. When faced with systematic challenges, he voices his concerns and respectfully advocates for change.
Bill is man of many interests and talents. Before joining the SIDs, Bill served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves. He holds a master’s degree from The Ohio State University in Cultural Studies and Education. He is a musician who plays drums, guitar, mandolin and ukulele. An interesting fact: Bill is a vegan who was promoted to manager of the meat department at Walmart before coming to the SID! He has a smile for everyone he meets, and we are fortunate to have Bill on our team.