Juliana Dunn is the Bilingual Afterschool Program and After-Care Case Manager for Compass Clara House. Inside her classroom on the first floor of Clara House are desks that double as drawing spaces and white boards, a big green bean bag chair, and a large paper tree patterned with butterflies and reminderse space’s community norms.
Juliana began at Compass as a Bilingual Case Manager with C-Work, Compass’ workforce development program, from its inception. At the start of 2022, she transitioned to her role at Clara House, where she runs the Cool Schoolers after school program, coordinates with schools and leading activities for her students year round. Juliana also supports families who have recently graduated from Clara House as an After-care Case manager, helping connect them to services and supporting them in their journey to stable permanent housing.
Compass Clara House provides comprehensive care for the 13 families that reside at any given time within the program. The 6- to 18-month transitional housing plan helps families achieve their goals in all aspects of their lives. Juliana says, “the amount of friendships that form between residents. The tight knit-ness of it all” are what she loves about the program. “It’s an incredible community space and it really is a completely wrap-around kind of program.”
Juliana points out the collection of skateboards in a corner of the room. The children at Clara House recently built their own skateboards and are learning to skate, as a way of building friendship and confidence. She says, “Those moments where [the kids] have big academic growth or social emotional growth” are some of her favorite parts of working at Clara House.
When she’s not wearing so many different hats at Compass, Juliana spends time with her dog, Bagel, or enjoying her neighborhood in Oakland and all it has to offer. She’s especially excited about a community garden there. Houston native Juliana has always been involved in community organizing and social justice. From working on research related to art and prison abolition to helping support migrant farm workers, Juliana realized that direct service was the community oriented space she thrived in. Thank you Juliana for all your work at Compass!