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Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Project Homeless Connect

Before the clients came...PHC at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Last week I volunteered at Project Homeless Connect. As always, it was an amazing event. If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to check them out. It was their 5th Anniversary and their largest ever, with 1,245 volunteers providing services to 2,623 San Franciscans in profound need. It is quite a sight to see so many different services available all under one roof for one day. Quite the production to say the least!

Project Homeless Connect

Alicia Volunteering as a Housing Counselor at PHC

I volunteered as a Housing Counselor, providing information on how to find and apply for affordable housing in San Francisco. I saw men and women, young and old, of many backgrounds and ethnicities, all with a story to tell. I was able to meet with staff from several different organizations and exchange information so that we can collaborate. I came away inspired and hopeful.

Outside PHC

Alicia at the end of a long day at Project Homeless Connect

At the next PHC, I plan to have our own table to meet and help older homeless women. I will need some volunteers to help, so if anyone is interested, please shoot an email to our Volunteer Coordinator at VeraMaxVolunteers@gmail.com. It will be on December 9th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. You can volunteer all day or for a short shift.

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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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Success!!

Oh Happy Day!! My first client has a home. This day came MUCH sooner than expected thanks to a brand new non-profit organization that provides long-term transitional housing for Seniors. They are called Lavender Communities, based in Oakland, California and just opened in April of this year.

My client is simply beside herself with excitement and she is not alone! Because of the absolute lack of appropriate transitional housing and the 1-7 year wait lists for permanent housing, I did not expect to get her housed for quite some time.

This transitional, independent housing accepts seniors 65 and older for a period of up to 5 years as long as they are on wait lists for permanent housing and have a housing counselor. The unit is a quaint house in residential neighborhood in Oakland with 3 bedrooms. Tenants have shared use of the bathroom, kitchen and furnished living areas in addition to a washer and dryer. There is even a backyard patio lined with rose bushes.

This is the transitional home we found for our first client

This is the transitional home we found for our first client

As this is the first and only unit for Lavender Communities, we were luck to get in before it filled. Business is just starting to pick up for them as they get their name out. Many thanks to Mike McGinley at Curry Senior Center for the tip!!

We will help my client with a deposit and help her move in this week. As an added note, my client is now on several wait lists for Senior Communities and on the road to permanent housing!

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