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Archive for February, 2010

Here is a blog post from Mike Dulworth, founder of VeraMax House and President of the Board:

Goldsmith BookThe VeraMax House for Older Homeless Women is holding its first major fundraiser on April 19th, 2010 with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith. Dr. Goldsmith is “One of the fifteen most influential business thinkers in the world” [London Times & Forbes] and the author of the bestselling book MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back When You Lose It!

MOJO was rated as the #2 best seller on the USAToday – Money list and the #3 best seller on the Wall Street Journal – Business list.

Dr. Goldsmith’s interactive developmental seminar will be held from 5pm to 8pm at the Jewish Community Center – San Francisco. To donate and register for the event, go to www.regonline.com/veramax.

Hope to see you there!

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When asked about what services we provide our clients, my short answer is Case Management and Counseling. My slightly longer answer is Long-term Wrap-around Case Management and Mental Health Counseling. But these terms are professional jargon and the definition of them varies based on the agency and the population served. So I thought I would write a short note describing what I do in real terms.

The services I provide clients falls directly in line with the vision of VeraMax House. The goal being to provide the clients with what they need to find adequate, affordable housing and stay permanently, stably housed. How do you house the homeless? Good question. Part of what it takes is to get a true understanding of what has led that person to become homeless and what is keeping them there. That involves an extensive intake, rapport building and speaking with other providers at agencies they access or have accessed services at. Needless to say, it often takes a bit of time to formulate a true picture of what we’re dealing with.

Based on the assessment, the next step is to help them find, apply for, and get into housing that meets their needs and is safe, permanent and affordable. This is not an easy task to say the least and can be quite extensive and time consuming. Clients often need: advocacy, assistance with all the paperwork and collecting information and documentation, accompaniment to housing interviews, assistance in solving issues with credit history or past evictions, assistance with moving and move-in costs. In addition to all these barriers, they also face incredibly long waitlists, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Throughout this process, I also coordinate care with other service providers and help them find the resources they need to meet other basic needs.

The largest barriers they face are often mental illnesses or maladaptive behaviors that are either untreated or newly developed due to their age. These are often the main contributor to why they become and remain homeless. The mental health counseling component is vital to our ability to help these clients and runs around and through every interaction I have with them.

At VeraMax, these women find help with all of these aspects but most importantly, they come here so that they are not alone in facing these seemingly insurmountable challenges and they want to be seen and understood as a person by someone they can trust.

As challenging as my job is and as slow as the process can feel, it is rewarding to be able to simply connect with these women and hear everyday how grateful they are for that connection.

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