Archive for February, 2011

Hope in 2011

This year is starting out hopeful!

After several months of seemingly insurmountable obstacles to finding housing, one of my clients has achieved housing in a quiet, safe place. She is now free from feeling like a prisoner (in shelters you have to check in, wait around for meals, clean up, be vigilant to make sure others are not stealing your belongings, and go to bed all within a monitored time constraint).

This kind of structured constraint on time can severely impact people’s psychological wellbeing, especially those that have till recently led independent lives, like many of our clients. It is exciting to witness liberation from the cycle of homelessness because I know how easily one can become homeless and how difficult it is to then find long term housing. That is the good news!

Unfortunately, it is taking too long for many of my clients to find housing and this affects their health, their motivation, and their ability to find jobs or other assistance. They must constantly be focused on the day to day and at the same time on applying and contacting programs (a more than full-time job for people who are at retirement age).

I’m hoping soon that I can report more of my clients have found housing, but for now one is great! I appreciate it, and I know she does too.

Jennifer Maghsoudi, M.A.
Clinical Case Manager


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In January, 2011 VeraMax House worked briefly with Julie Gordon while she filmed in San Francisco for a documentary on homelessness.

“No Place Like Home” draws attention to the growing problem of homelessness in America and the unique problems faced by women in this situation.

Julie Gordon was particularly interested in working with VMH because it was the only organization she could find in the country that served the particular niche and fills the gap that older women tend to fall through. VMH support was instrumental in making the San Francisco footage for the documentary possible.

In addition to working on the film Ms. Gordon was kind enough to offer her filming skills and assist VMH in working on their own promotional video, including a client testimony. I had been working on writing a testimony with my client Margaret during our last couple of sessions. She felt adamantly about her success. She had a strong desire to tell her story and share her experience at VMH. When I mentioned she could have the opportunity to tell her story on camera, Margaret was nervous, but also very excited. You could see her eyes light up.

The women we serve at VeraMax House have found themselves at their lowest point. They have few people to talk to and few opportunities to feel strong. I think for Margaret helping with the film and giving her testimony gave her that opportunity.

Daily we work with our clients to find their inner strength. We empower them by whatever means to achieve their individual goals.

Seeing the result of such work is incredibly rewarding, and beneficial to VMH and our community.
Special thank you to Julie Gordon for helping VMH and our client achieve this!

Hailey Pobanz, MSW
Clinical Case Manager

P.S. For film updates, check the filmmakers’s website  http://www.gordonandhart.com.

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