Ongoing Initiatives at 144 and How Your Contributions Help
It is hard to believe that 144 Erb St. E. joined the SHOW family just a few short months ago. Funded by a grant from the Canada Community Foundation we were able to provide a staff person whose role is to assist tenants to improve their health, identify and refer them to resources and provide opportunities for the community to enjoy outdoor activities. Fiona Gent joined SHOW in August and immediately sprang into action. Tai Chi and Yoga classes are now offered at various outdoor sites in Waterloo including, 144 Erb E. and 362 Erb W. I have watched in utter amazement as I see tenants who have barely moved a muscle in years, get down on the ground or in their chairs, and stretch, move and smile a lot.
We have been able to provide medical care to our newest tenants at 144 through our partnership with Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre. Several tenants have accessed medical care for the first time in years. Tenants are able to build relationships with neighbours, identify other programs and supports that might be helpful, and are working to reduce the isolation so many experienced this past winter. As the weather cools down, we are creating new programs to get folks outdoors. The goal of these trail walks, cross country skiing, winter yoga classes and other physical activities is to help improve health outcomes, along with improving social opportunities and reduce loneliness.
The pandemic was a challenge for all of us, but imagine what it has been like for those who have had no one to check in on them, no one at all to make sure they are ok, no one to offer to pick up necessities. Most of us rely on social media, the internet, and our phones to connect with the world. Some of our tenants have not had the ability to plug in and get virtually connected. SHOW provides free Wi-Fi for our tenants in all three buildings, we work hard to find donated computers and monitors and teach our tenants how to connect, how to communicate and how to find resources. We are currently hard at work to develop a remote check in tool for those in our community who would benefit from a daily call.
You may remember from September, that SHOW staff, tenants, and board members were hard at work renovating two apartments at 144. In addition to renovations, we are also hoping to remodel spaces within the building we believe have the potential to provide more housing. Two unused spaces at 144 will become new apartments. This requires much planning, designing and organizing, but most of all it will require the generosity of donors like you. You can learn more about how you can support by visiting showtheway.org. Or stay tuned for some exciting news coming ahead of this year’s #GivingTuesday Campaign.