Meeting People Where They Are – And Connecting Them with Judgment-Free Support
At OnPoint NYC, we are committed to providing an array of services to our community – and building the connections with each person to assist them wherever they are in their journey.
Our drop-in centers in East Harlem and Washington Heights strive to create this welcoming space of support, and an integral part of this work is our care navigation staff members.
Denise Barkley works at OnPoint as a Lead Navigator under our Playsure program, which utilizes a holistic, one-stop-shop approach to offer client-centered, affirming, non-stigmatizing, and anti-discriminatory HIV prevention and care (including rapid testing, Pep, and PreP), on-site medical care, mental health counseling, substance use treatment, and other supportive services.
In this role, she supervises a team of three – a Peer Navigator, a HIV Tester Phlebotomist, and an Outreach Navigator – and also provides counseling, service coordination, housing support, and more.
Denise has worked in the case management field for about 15 years, but finds the work at OnPoint particularly rewarding because of its human-centered focus to harm reduction – she enjoys connecting with each participant, and finds joy in making a tangible difference in the lives of the people she supports.
“What’s rewarding for me is when someone comes to see me because someone else has mentioned the work I did with them. I love to know that something I did or said stayed with a person that they felt the need to tell someone else to come and get services from me,” she shares.
“Harm reduction to me is meeting a person where they are and providing a service without judgment,” Denise says. “This is a population that is usually ignored and underserved. So I make sure that I show each individual person that they matter. Despite their situations – being homeless, fighting substance use and mental illness – they are people.”
Interested in learning more about these services? Browse our calendar here.