Fairhill: Local Woman Helps Mentally Ill

Charin Combs has always been one to give back. That’s why she wasn’t surprised that she eventually obtained a job where she worked with the mentally ill.

Combs sat inside the CATCH van as she prepared to pick her clients up.

Combs works for CATCH, a South Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that has supplied behavioral health and intellectual disability services for the community since 1969. Combs is a driver for the transportation division of the organization and through her job has been able to fulfill her strong desire to help others.

“I’ve always wanted to work with the mentally ill,” said Combs. “I just want to work with people who I can make a difference with.”

Combs has been a driver for the past eight years and have developed a relationship with many of her clients. Her duties include picking up and dropping off the clients from different mental health centers across the city.

“I’ve been doing this for so long I know when my clients are happy and when they’re sad,” she said. “I’m able to read whatever type of mood they’re in.

Eugene Blackson, who became a driver for the division six months ago, has recognized how effective Combs is with her clients.

Combs and Blackson stood in front of the CATCH van.

“She does a great job,” said Blackson. “We need people like that who understand that the mentally are people just like me and you. They have feelings like the rest of us.”

Combs is currently enrolled in school and hopes to be a social worker.

“I really don’t like driving so that’s why I’m pushing hard to further my education so that I be more hands on,” she said.


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