Having a stable place to call home is just one part of bringing stability and peace to those who struggle to access affordable, safe, and secure housing. Support is also another huge part and nothing made me realize that more when one of SHOW’s residents, Melanie was not able to be supported by her family during Christmas last year.
Melanie had been a long-time tenant of SHOW. She lived at 362 Erb St W where she had neighbors who checked in on her, friends that she shared meals with, staff that she confided in – Melanie had created a community of support around her with her SHOW community.
Around 2015 Melanie was diagnosed with cancer. And, in October of last year, with the holiday season right around the corner, Melanie was admitted to palliative care. Her siblings were unable to travel to be with her so SHOW staff stepped in to fill that void. I spent countless hours by her bedside, sharing stories, learning about her life, and ensuring she could speak to her family virtually.
Watching Melanie succumb to her illness without her family there to support and love her was extremely difficult. I thought often of my own parents and siblings and how unbearable and difficult it would have been to not be with them when they needed family the most. I don’t want to think about what Melanie’s experience would have been like had she not lived at SHOW and had a group of staff that cared for her so deeply and were invested in bringing her the comfort and support that she deserved.
It was an honor and a privilege for me to spend that time with Melanie and support her at a time when she needed it the most. These are the things they don’t train you for when you start your job supporting individuals living in poverty. These are the things that provide intangible benefit, comfort, and support to our tenants. These are the things donors like you fund when you support SHOW. If you’d like to SHOW the Way to Support for our tenants please follow this link!