NYFS Story: An Advocate for All

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Scrabble tiles spell out, "In lifting others, we rise."

As a Community Advocate who is called to address an ever-changing list of issues facing clients across five cities, Joshua Grant knows he’s never going to have the same day twice.

“Each client is unique and has many needs,” he says. “But being able to help meet those needs is very satisfying.”

Joshua collaborates with law enforcement in the cities of Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, St. Anthony and White Bear Lake. He works with residents who have been involved with local law enforcement but have needs that cannot be sufficiently addressed by law enforcement alone. Common issues include chronic mental health concerns, family instability, complex medical needs, and chemical dependency.

Joshua says one of the reasons he enjoys this kind of work is because he knows what it is like to need help. As the first-generation son of immigrant parents, he watched his parents struggle. At the same time, he also watched them support their community and he learned the deep value of that work. Joshua adds that as his own troubles as a youth became larger than his parents or support network could address on their own, his family sought outside help.

“When I was young, I made some bad choices and ended up in a group home,” he says. “It wasn’t ideal, but I got the structure I needed. I’m glad there was an extra level of help out there.”

Joshua uses what he’s learned in his personal life to offer informed and compassionate support to others who are also struggling.

“It’s my job to help without bias,” he says. “I’m here to see the person, not the behavior. Connecting people with the help they need and walking with them as they take a better path is very satisfying. I want to be that reassuring presence that stays with them when others have fallen away.”

Learn more about the Community Advocate Program.



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Northeast Youth & Family Services is a nonprofit, community-based, and trauma-informed mental health and community services organization that has been serving your friends and neighbors in the northeastern Saint Paul suburbs since 1976. Among our many programs, we offer two convenient mental health clinic locations in Shoreview and White Bear Lake, MN.

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Call us to schedule an intake appointment today

Ph: 651-486-3808
Fx: 651-486-3858

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3490 Lexington Ave N
Shoreview, MN 55126

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