In 1995, Interim, Inc. hired a Relief Crisis Counselor for what was then Soledad House. That was the beginning of an incredible journey for Susan Brier and Interim Inc! Since then, her talents have been an important part of many of our programs: as Counselor at Bridge House, Community Housing, Sandy Shores, and now at Omni Resource Center.
Visually disabled, her limited sight doesn’t limit Susan. “I can see people in front of me, and can tell who they are, so I can work one-on-one and in groups,” she says. And Susan is making a difference in the lives of people she works with. “Clients are the nicest people. I don’t see a person with a diagnosis, I see whole person. We all have some symptoms, and when they interfere with our life, we need to learn ways to deal with it. In groups, I help people to discover ways to deal with their symptoms and help them find outcomes that serve them best.” She says her job is to listen patiently, give love and support and provide feedback.
Susan was born and raised in the Bay Area. She says she was a “beatnik” in San Francisco where she lived with her identical twin. She was working in a home for psychiatric patients in San Francisco until it burned down. Shortly thereafter, she reconnected with her high school sweetheart, Roy, who convinced her to move to the Peninsula where she began her work with Interim, Inc.
Susan loves her job. She says her clients are a “great bunch of people”. She loves leading groups at the OMNI Center, where she helps people understand that they can make a difference in the world. She told about a recent group activity where the clients wrote letters to state and federal legislators in opposition to funding cuts to Medi-Cal and other programs that directly impact their well-being. “I tell group members that their voice counts, that they count.” This empowering message promotes wellness, and self-esteem in her clients.
Susan is a talented writer and poet. She says with a smile that most of her poems these days are political in nature. “I will be eighty years old in a few weeks,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. “I don’t plan on retiring. Interim is a wonderful place to work, where you can make a difference in other people’s lives.” And that is exactly what Susan is doing – making a difference.
Susan Brier, Celebrating OMNI’s Annual Birthday Party