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Archive for September, 2009

Over the past few months, we have managed to lay down a solid foundation for VeraMax and are ready to focus our efforts on street outreach.

The wonderful people I’ve met within other organizations and the research I’ve done on resources in the community have given me a good picture of the systems, need and housing opportunities for the older homeless population. I am now armed with the tools to help women who walk in our door. Unfortunately, the flow has been slow and sporadic and referrals are almost non-existent. So, it seems the next best move is to hit the streets and we started today!

Thankfully, a wonderful woman named Lana came into our center wanting to volunteer so she and I went to a corner to speak with a woman who Lana sees daily in her neighborhood. Next week we will go to a known place near Embarcadaro to meet another older homeless woman. These processes will take a while as I slowly work to build the trust of these women so that they may become willing to seek our services and get housed. If you know of any older homeless women who frequent certain areas or know of anyone interested in helping us do Street Outreach, please drop me an email or give me a call. And wish us luck in this exciting new endeavor!!

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My first client is now settled in and overwhelmingly happy about this significant turnaround in her life. This is everything she has been hoping for: a home and her independence. I say “home” because her placement is truly not just housing, but a home for her.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to have helped this woman and to see her come back to life. She has changed so dramatically that had I not watched the progression, it would be hard to believe. Through the counseling she received from VeraMax, she showed marked improvement over the three months leading up to her placement. Then the placement itself entirely changed her mood and overall mental health.

It has been a difficult process to start up VeraMax and there are many challenges that lie ahead but this success, this one life we have been able to improve, let’s us know that we are on the right track. It can be difficult to see the light at times when some of these homeless women have such difficulties and trust is so hard to build. We were truly blessed with this first experience because ultimately those are what will sustain our momentum and passion.

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